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Title: Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in domestic donkeys (Equus asinus) in Durango, Mexico slaughtered for human consumption

item ALVARADO-ESQUIVEL, COSME - Juarez University Of The State Of Durango
item ALVARADO-ESQUIVEL, DOMINGO - Juarez University Of The State Of Durango
item Dubey, Jitender

Submitted to: Veterinary Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/12/2015
Publication Date: 1/17/2015
Publication URL: http://doi:10.1186/s12917-015-0325-9
Citation: Alvarado-Esquivel, C., Alvarado-Esquivel, D., Dubey, J.P. 2015. Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in domestic donkeys (Equus asinus) in Durango, Mexico slaughtered for human consumption. Veterinary Research. 11:6.

Interpretive Summary: Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic infection of humans and animals and it continues to be public health and food safety issue. Among the many ways this infection is acquired, the consumption of unpasteurized milk and cheese from donkeys is a newly recognized risk factor for toxoplasmosis in humans. Donkey meat is eaten in several countries. In the present study authors found antibodies to T. gondii in 26 (10.9%) of 239 donkeys from Mexico. These results will be useful for parasitologists, physicians and veterinarians.

Technical Abstract: Background: Nothing is known about Toxoplasma gondii prevalence in donkeys in Mexico. Meat from donkey is consumed by humans in Mexico and also exported to other countries. We sought to determine the presence of antibodies against T. gondii in 239 domestic donkeys (Equus asinus) for slaughter in Durango, Mexico using the modified agglutination test (MAT). Donkeys were sampled in four premises (trade centers) where donkeys were gather for shipment to abattoirs in other Mexican states. Results: Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 26 (10.9%) of 239 donkeys, with MAT titers of 1:25 in 7, 1:50 in 11, 1:100 in 6, and 1:200 in 2. Seropositive donkeys were found in three (75%) of the four gathering premises studied. Seroprevalence in donkeys varied from 0% to 23.1% among gathering premises. The seroprevalence of T. gondii infection was comparable among donkeys regardless their age, sex or health status. Seropositivity to T. gondii was found in donkeys between 1 to 12 years old. Multivariate analysis showed that seropositivity to T. gondii was associated with the gathering premises (OR =1.58; 95% CI: 1.11-2.24; P=0.009). Conclusions: This is the first report of T. gondii infection in donkeys in Mexico. Results indicate that consumption of undercooked or raw meat from T. gondii-infected donkeys is potentially a source of T. gondii infection for humans.