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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory

Title: Serological Evidence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in five species of bats in China

item Youn, Zi-guo
item Luo, Sheng Jun
item Dubey, Jitender
item Zhou, Dong-hui
item Zhu, Yan-ping
item He, Yong
item He, Xian-hui
item Zhang, Xiu-xiang
item Zhu, Xing-quan

Submitted to: Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2012
Publication Date: 6/1/2013
Citation: Youn, Z., Luo, S., Dubey, J.P., Zhou, D., Zhu, Y., He, Y., He, X., Zhang, X., Zhu, X. 2013. Serological Evidence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in five species of bats in China. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases. 13:422-424.

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. In the present paper authors report T. gondii infection in bats, indicating contamination of caves with oocysts. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and public health workers.

Technical Abstract: Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite which can infect almost all warm-blooded animals and humans with a worldwide distribution. Bats are reservoirs for an increasing number of emerging zoonotic viruses, such as henipaviruses and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus (SARS-CoV). However, little is known of T. gondii infection in bats. The objective of the present study was to determine the seroprevalence of T. gondii infection in bats in China. A total of 217 serum samples from five species of bats were collected between April 2010 and August 2011 from four provinces in China, and antibodies to T. gondii were determined using the modified agglutination test (MAT, 1:25 or higher). Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 26.5% (18/68) Megaderma lyra, 13.6% (12/88) Rousettus leschenaulti, 13.6% (3/22) Cynopterus sphinx, 20% (4/20) Vespertilio superaus and 15.8%% (3/19) Pipistrellus javanicus. Antibody titers ranged from 1:25 to 1:400 with titers of 1:200 in 4 of the 5 bat species. The present study demonstrated the occurrence of T. gondii infection in bats in China, and these bats are new hosts for T. gondii, which may pose a threat to human health.

Last Modified: 08/20/2017
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