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Title: Use of filter papers to determine seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii among hunted ungulates

item ASTON, E - Cornell University
item MAYER, P - Autonomous University Of Barcelona
item BOWMAN, D - Cornell University
item MOHAMMED, H - Cornell University
item LIOTTA, J - Cornell University
item Kwok, Oliver
item Dubey, Jitender

Submitted to: International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/3/2013
Publication Date: 1/5/2014
Publication URL:
Citation: Aston, E., Mayer, P., Bowman, D., Mohammed, H., Liotta, J., Kwok, O.C., Dubey, J.P. 2014. Use of filter papers to determine seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii among hunted ungulates. International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife. 3:15-19.

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.How people become infected with Toxoplasma in remote areas of the world is poorly understood. In the present study, authors found 17 - 40% prevalence of T. gondii antibodies in wild ungulates from remote areas of Peru Amazon, apparently in the absence of domestic cats. The results will be of interest to biologists, and Parasitologists and need further investigation.

Technical Abstract: Toxoplasmosis is a zoonosis caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii, and it is found worldwide. To determine whether ungulates are reservoirs of T. gondii in an isolated and remote region of the northeastern Peruvian Amazon, antibodies to T. gondii were determined in 5 species of ungulates by the modified agglutination test (MAT). These animals were hunted by subsistence hunters along the Yavarí-Mirín River, in the northeastern Peruvian Amazon. Blood samples were collected by hunters on filter papers. For determination of T. gondii antibodies, blood was eluted from filter papers, and a titer of 1:25 was considered indicative of exposure to T. gondii. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 26 (31.0%) peccaries (Pecari tajacu, Tayassu pecari), six (17.1%) brocket deer (Mazama americana, Mazama gouazoubira), and four (40.0%) lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris). We also introduced a modification to the MAT protocol that allows the extraction of fluid samples from several types of laboratory-grade filter paper, thus enabling researchers to easily adapt their approaches to the materials presented to them.