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Title: Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in captive wild mammals and birds in Brazil.

item Minervino, A
item Soares, H
item Barreto-junior, R
item Alessandri Loboneves, K
item Pena, H
item Dubey, Jitender
item Ortolani, J
item Gennari, S

Submitted to: Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/17/2010
Publication Date: 9/1/2010
Citation: Minervino, A.H., Soares, H.S., Barreto-Junior, R.A., Alessandri Loboneves, K., Pena, H.F., Dubey, J.P., Ortolani, J.L., Gennari, S.M. 2010. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in captive wild mammals and birds in Brazil.. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. 41:572-574.

Interpretive Summary: Toxoplasma gondii is a single-celled parasite of all warm-blooded hosts worldwide. It causes mental retardation and loss of vision in children, and abortion in livestock. Cats are the main reservoir of T. gondii because they are the only hosts that can excrete the resistant stage (oocyst) of the parasite in the feces. Humans become infected by eating undercooked meat from infected animals and food and water contaminated with oocysts. This paper reports on prevalence of T. gondii antibodies in wildlife in Brazil. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, public health workers, and veterinarians.

Technical Abstract: In this study serum samples of 203 animals from different locations from zoos and breeding facilities from the north and northeast region of Brazil were analyzed for the presence of anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies by the modified agglutination test (MAT) with a cutoff of 1:25. Of the sampled animals, 184 were adult mammals of both sexes and the 19 were from birds. Antibodies were found in 61 of 184 mammals and no association between sex and age of the animals with the presence of T. gondii antibodies was observed (P <0.05). Anti-T. gondii antibodies were not found in birds. T. gondii was detected in Tapirus terrestris for the first time in this species.