Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases LaboratoryTitle: Serological evidence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in wild birds and mammals from Southeast region of Brazil) Author
Submitted to: Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2013
Publication Date: 3/1/2014
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/59008
Citation: Vitaliano, S., Soares, H., Pena, H., Dubey, J.P., Gennari, S. 2014. Serological evidence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in wild birds and mammals from Southeast region of Brazil. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. 45(1):197-199. 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. Understanding the diversity of parasites in wild animals would be important to assessing sources of infection in livestock and people. This is especially true in hotspots of diversity in Brazil. In the present study, authors found antibodies to T. gondii in unrecorded species of birds from Amazon forest in Brazil for the first time. The results will be of interest to biologists, and Parasitologists.
Technical Abstract: In this study, serum samples of 53 wild animals from two different states from the southeast region of Brazil were analyzed for the presence of anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies by the modified agglutination test (MAT) with a cut off of 1:5 for birds and 1:25 for mammals. Out of the sampled animals, 27 were birds and 26 were mammals and from this total, 83% (n=44) were free-living animals. Antibodies were found in 13 mammals, from which 11 were free-living animals, and five birds, all free-living. In this study, T. gondii antibodies were detected in four bird species (Cariama cristata- crested seriema, Theristicus caudatus-buff-necked ibis, Patagioenas picazuro -picazuro pigeon and Athene cunicularia burrowing owl), in a giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) and in a collared anteater (Tamandua tetradactyla) for the first time.