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Title: Occurrence and risk factors associated to Toxoplasma gondii infection in sheep from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

item COSENDEY-KEZEN LEITE, RACHEL - Universidade Estadual Do Norte Fluminense
item RODRIGUES DE OLIVEIR, FRANCISCO - Universidade Estadual Do Norte Fluminense
item FRAZAO-TEIXEIRA, EDWARDS - Universidade Estadual Do Norte Fluminense
item Dubey, Jitender
item DE SOUZA, GUILHERME - Embrapa
item LILENBAUM, WALTER - Universidade Estadual Do Norte Fluminense

Submitted to: Tropical Animal Health and Production
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/20/2014
Publication Date: 8/30/2014
Publication URL: http://DOI 10.1007/s11250-014-0667-5
Citation: Cosendey-Kezen Leite, R., Rodrigues De Oliveir, F., Frazao-Teixeira, E., Dubey, J.P., De Souza, G., Lilenbaum, W. 2014. Occurrence and risk factors associated to Toxoplasma gondii infection in sheep from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Tropical Animal Health and Production. 46:1463-1466.

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 study, author report a very high (53.3% of 379) seroprevalence of Toxoplasma in sheep slaughtered for human consumption in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The findings have implications for public health and export of lamb from Brazil.

Technical Abstract: Toxoplasmosis is an important cause of abortion in sheep and a zoonotic risk to humans, leading to significant hazards to health and to economic losses. This study examined the soroprevalence and associated risk factors for infection with Toxoplama gondii in 379 sheep from 12 flocks in Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil. Using the modified agglutination test (MAT), 202 (53.3%) of 379 were seropositive with titers of 1:25 in 65, 1:50 in 40, 1:100 in 23, 1:200 in 11, 1:400 in 36, 1:800 in 7, 1:1,600 in 1, and 1:3,200 or higher in 19 sheep. The most significant factors associated with T. gondii seropositivity in sheep were age, gender, and veterinary care. Finding of T. gondii antibodies in 97 of the 202 sheep in titers of 1:100 or higher is indicative of persistently infected animals. This high level of seropositivity requires urgent control measures to reduce impact on animal productivity and public health.