Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/25/2011
Publication Date: 1/10/2011
Citation: Al-Kappany, Y.M., Lappin, M.R., Kwok, O.C., Abu-Elwafa, S.A., Hilali, M., Dubey, J.P. 2011. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and concurrent Bartonella spp., feline immunodeficiency virus, feline leukemia virus, and Dirofilaria immitis infections in Egyptian cats. Journal of Parasitology. 97:256-258. 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. In the present study scientists document prevalence of T. gondii antibodies and other concurrent infections in cats from Egypt. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and veterinarians.
Technical Abstract: Toxoplasma gondii and Bartonella spp. are zoonotic pathogens of cats. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), and Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLv) are related to Human Immunodeficiency Virus, and Human Leukemia Virus, respectively, and these viruses are immunosuppressive. In the present study, the prevalence of antibodies to T. gondii, Bartonella spp., FIV, as well as FeLv and Dirofilaria immitis antigens were determined in sera from feral cats (Felis catus) from Cairo, Egypt. Using a modified agglutination test, antibodies to T. gondii were found in 172 (95.5%) of the 180 cats with titers of 1:5 in 9, 1:10 in 9, 1:20 in 3, 1:40 in 5, 1:80 in 5, 1:160 in 15, 1:320 in 22, and 1:640 or higher in 104. Thus, 57.4% had high T. gondii titers. Antibodies to Bartonella spp. were found in 105 (59.6%) of 178, with titers of 1:64 in 45, 1:128 in 39, 1:256 in 13, 1:512 in 3, 1:1,024 in 4, and 1:2,048 in 1 cat. Antibodies to FIV were detected in 59 (33.9%) of 174 cats. Of 174 cats tested, antigens to FeLv, and D. immitis were detected in 8 (4.6%) and 6 (3.4%) cats, respectively. The results indicate a high prevalence of T. gondii, Bartonella spp., and FIV infections in cats from Cairo, Egypt. This is the first report of Bartonella spp., and D. immitis infection in cats in Egypt.