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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #268530

Title: Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in pigs, sheep, goats, and cattle from Grenada and Carriacou, West Indies

item CHIKWETO, A - St George'S University
item KUMTHEKAR, S - St George'S University
item TIWARI, K - St George'S University
item NYACK, B - St George'S University
item DEOKAR, M - St George'S University
item STRATTON, G - St George'S University
item MACPHERSON, C - St George'S University
item Dubey, Jitender

Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2011
Publication Date: 10/1/2011
Citation: Chikweto, A., Kumthekar, S., Tiwari, K., Nyack, B., Deokar, M.S., Stratton, G., Macpherson, C.N., Dubey, J.P. 2011. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in pigs, sheep, goats, and cattle from Grenada and Carriacou, West Indies. Journal of Parasitology. 97:950-951.

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 food animals in Grenada, West Indies. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and public health workers.

Technical Abstract: Technical Abstract: Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in pregnant women in Grenada is considered high. Little is known of the epidemiology of T. gondii infection in Caribbean Islands. Serum samples of 750 food animals in Grenada and Carriacou were tested for antibodies to T. gondii using the modified agglutination test (MAT). Antibodies to T. gondii (MAT, 1:25 or higher) were found in 23.1% of 247 pigs, 44.1% of 204 sheep, 42.8% of 180 goats, and 8.4% of 119 cattle. Seroprevalence increased with age, indicating postnatal acquisition of T. gondii. While titers of 1:200 or higher were present in 65 of 90 seropositive sheep, 61 of 77 seropositive goats, 23 of 57 seropositive pigs had, none of the cattle were seropositive at 1:200 serum dilution. Results indicate that pigs, sheep, and goats could be important sources of T. gondii infection if their meat is consumed undercooked.