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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory

Title: High prevalance of Toxoplasma Gondii antibodies in domestic pigs in Oaxaca State, Mexico

item Alvarado-esquivel, Cosme
item Estrada-malacon, Miguel
item Reyes-hernandez, Sonia
item Perez-ramirez, Jose
item Trujillo-lopez, Jose Ignacio
item Villena, Isabelle
item Dubey, Jitender

Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2012
Publication Date: 9/1/2012
Citation: Alvarado-Esquivel, C., Estrada-Malacon, M.A., Reyes-Hernandez, S.O., Perez-Ramirez, J.A., Trujillo-Lopez, J.L., Villena, I., Dubey, J.P. 2012. High prevalance of Toxoplasma Gondii antibodies in domestic pigs in Oaxaca State, Mexico. Veterinary Parasitology. 98:1248-1250.

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 under cooked meat from infected animals and food and water contaminated with oocysts. Pork is a popular meat consumed in Mexico and also is exported. In the present study authors found Toxoplasma antibodies in 11.2% of 525 domestic pigs slaughtered for food in Oaxaca state, Mexico. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and public health workers.

Technical Abstract: Pigs are important in the epidemiology of toxoplasmosis in North America. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in 525 domestic pigs (337 backyard raised, 188 farm raised) in Oaxaca state, Mexico was determined using the modified agglutination test (MAT, cut off 1:25). Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 58 (17.2%) of the 337 backyard pigs with MAT titers of 1:25 in 10, 1:50 in 12, 1:100 in 18, 1:200 in 6, 1:400 in 6, 1:800 in 3, and 1:1,600 in 3. Seropositive pigs were found in 39 (37.9%) of 103 homes in all 7 municipalities surveyed. Seroprevalence of T. gondii infection in backyard pigs varied with age, gender, geographic region, climate and altitude. High seroprevalence was found in pigs = 9 mo old (40%), females (40%), from the Istmo region (33.3%), and raised in a tropical climate (65%). Seroprevalence was higher (24.5%) in pigs raised at 100-660 m above sea level than in those (14.2%) at 20-60 m of altitude. With respect to farm pigs, only 1 (0.5%, MAT titer 1:100) of 188 pigs from 5 farms was positive for anti-T. gondii antibodies. The results affirm that management system (outdoor versus indoor system with biosecurity) is a key factor in the epidemiology of porcine toxoplasmosis. Because there is no national system of determining the T. gondii infection status at the time of slaughter precautions should be taken while handling pig carcasses, and all pork should be cooked thoroughly before human consumption.

Last Modified: 08/17/2017
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