Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases LaboratoryTitle: Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in wild marsupials and rodents from the Atlantic forest of Pernambuco State, Northeastern region, Brazil) Author
Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/20/2012
Publication Date: 12/26/2013
Citation: Siqueira, D.B., Alessio, F.M., Mauffrey, J.F., Marvulo, M.F., Ribeiro, V.O., Pena, H.J., Gennari, S.M., Faustino, M.A., Alves, L.C., Gennari, S.M., Dubey, J.P., Silva, J.C. 2013. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in wild marsupials and rodents from the Atlantic forest of Pernambuco State, Northeastern region, Brazil. Journal of Parasitology. 99:1140-1143. 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 report prevalence of Toxoplasma in marsupials from Brazil. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and public health workers.
Technical Abstract: Felids are important in the epidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii because they are the only hosts that can excrete the environmentally resistant oocysts in their feces. Cats are considered to acquire T. gondii infection in nature by ingesting tissues of small mammals and birds. Serum samples of feral 223 marsupials and 174 rodents captured in 7 fragments of the Atlantic Forest of the State of Pernambuco, northeastern region of Brazil were examined for antibodies to T. gondii by the modified agglutination test. Antibodies (MAT=25) were found in 6.7% (15/223) of the marsupials and 5.7% (10/174) of the rodents. This is the first study on the seroprevalence of T. gondii in marsupials and rodents performed in the Atlantic Forest of the northeastern region of Brazil.