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Title: Toxoplasmosis in dogs: First report of Toxoplasma gondii infection in any animal species in Angola

item LOPES, ANA - University Of Tras-Os-montes And Alto Douro
item GRANADA, SARA - Clinica Casa Dos Animais
item OLIVEIRA, ANA - Clinica Casa Dos Animais
item BRANCAL, HUGO - Clinica Casa Dos Animais
item Dubey, Jitender
item CARDOSA, LOUIS - University Of Tras-Os-montes And Alto Douro
item VILHENA, HUGO - University Of Tras-Os-montes And Alto Douro

Submitted to: Pathogens and Global Health
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/13/2014
Publication Date: 12/1/2014
Citation: Lopes, A., Granada, S., Oliveira, A., Brancal, H., Dubey, J.P., Cardosa, L., Vilhena, H. 2014. Toxoplasmosis in dogs: First report of Toxoplasma gondii infection in any animal species in Angola. Pathogens and Global Health. DOI: 10.1179/2047773214Y.0000000160.

Interpretive Summary: Toxoplasma gondii an obligate, single-celled, protozoan parasite continues to be a major zoonotic health concern in human and veterinary medicine because it is capable of infecting any warm-blooded vertebrate intermediate host. As the definitive host, cats are fundamental in the epidemiology of toxoplasmosis. Millions of oocysts can be excreted in the feces of a single cat and oocysts can survive outdoors for months. Viable T. gondii has been isolated from feces of naturally infected dogs, indicating that the dog can act as a mechanical vector following the ingestion of infected cat feces. Humans can also become infected by petting dogs that have rolled in cat feces. Because of their close association with humans dogs are considered good sentinel for environmental contamination with this parasite. In the present study authors found that15.5%% of 103 dogs from Angola had antibodies to T. gondii, indicating environmental contamination with T. gondii. This study , the first from any animal species in Angola, should be of interest veterinarians and public health workers.

Technical Abstract: Despite the worldwide importance of zoonotic parasite Toxoplasma gondii nothing is known of toxoplasmosis in animals in Angola. The present study aimed at estimating the seroprevalence and also assessing correlates of T. gondii infection in pet dogs from Luanda, Angola. Dogs (n = 103) brought to a veterinary clinic in the city of Luanda were investigated. Serum samples were tested for antibodies to T. gondii with a modified agglutination test (MAT) commercial kit, at serial dilutions of 1:20 to 1:160. In accordance with the established cut-off value (MAT = 20), 16 dogs (15.5%; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 9.2-24.0%) had antibodies to T. gondii: 10 had a titer of 20, two had a titer of 40, and four had a titer of 80. Age (= 12 months) was found to be a risk factor for infection (odds ratio [OR] = 9.23; 95% CI: 1.16-73.27). For each 1-year increase in age the risk of a dog being found seropositive significantly increased by an OR of 1.18 (95% CI: 1.02-1.36). The present study, which represents the first serological survey of T. gondii in any animal species from Angola, reveals a 15.5% seroprevalence of infection in pet dogs in Luanda. Further studies are needed to better understand the epidemiology of zoonotic T. gondii infection in Luanda and also in Angola.