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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 #271055

Title: Serological survey of Toxoplasma gondii, Dirofilaria immitis, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) infections in pet cats in Bangkok and vicinities, Thailand

item SUKHUMAVASI, WORAPORN - Chulalongkorn University
item BELLOSA, MARY - Cornell University
item LUCIO-FORSTER, ARACELI - Cornell University
item LIOTTA, JANICE - Cornell University
item LEE, ALICE C.Y. - Cornell University
item PORNMINGMAS, PITCHA - Suvarnachad Animal Hospital
item CHUNGPIVAT, SUDCHIT - Chulalongkorn University
item MOHAMMED, HUSSNI - Cornell University
item LORENTZEN, LEIF - Idexx Laboratories
item Dubey, Jitender
item BOWMAN, DWIGHT - Cornell University

Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2011
Publication Date: 6/1/2012
Citation: Sukhumavasi, W., Bellosa, M.L., Lucio-Forster, A., Liotta, J., Lee, A., Pornmingmas, P., Chungpivat, S., Mohammed, H.O., Lorentzen, L., Dubey, J.P., Bowman, D.D. 2012. Serological survey of Toxoplasma gondii, Dirofilaria immitis, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) infections in pet cats in Bangkok and vicinities, Thailand. Veterinary Parasitology. 188:25-30.

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, authors report prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in cats from Thailand. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and public health workers.

Technical Abstract: The seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii, Dirofilaria immitis (heartworm), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia virus (FeLV) infections was examined using serum or plasma samples from 746 pet cats collected between May and July 2009 from clinics and hospitals located in and around Bangkok, Thailand. The samples were tested for heartworm, FIV, and FeLV using a commercial ELISA. Of the 746 samples, 4.56% (34/746) were positive for heartworm antigen, 24.53% (183/746) had circulating FeLV antigen, and 20.11% (150/746) had antibodies against FIV. In addition, the first 348 submitted samples were tested for T. gondii antibodies using a modified agglutination test (MAT, cut off 1:25); 10.06% (35/348) were seropositive T. gondii. Of the 348 cats sampled for all four agents, 11 (3.16%), 10 (2.87%), and 1 (0.29%) were positive for T. gondii antibodies and FIV antibodies, FeLV antigen, or D. immitis antigen, respectively. Of the 35 T. gondii-seropositive cats, 42.86% (15/35) were co-infected with at least one of the other three pathogens. The presence of antibodies to FIV was significantly associated with both age and gender, while FeLV antigen presence was only associated with age. In the case of FIV, males were twice as likely to be infected as females, and cats over 10 years of age were 12 times more likely to be infected than cats less than 1 year of age. FeLV antigen was more common in younger cats, with cats over 10 years of age being 10 times less likely to be FeLV positive than cats under 1 year of age. Results of the present study are compared with those from other studies in Southeast Asia.