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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #319802

Research Project: INTEGRATED APPROACH TO THE DETECTION AND CONTROL OF FOODBORNE PARASITES AND THE IMPACT ON FOOD SAFETY

Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory

Title: A systematic meta-analysis of Toxoplasma gondii prevalence in meat animals in the United States

Author
item GUO, MIAO - University Of Maryland
item MISHRA, ABHINAV - University Of Maryland
item BUCHANAN, ROBERT - University Of Maryland
item Dubey, Jitender
item Hill, Dolores
item GAMBLE, RAY - National Academy Of Science
item JONES, JEFFERY - Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDCP) - United States
item PRADHAN, ABNI - University Of Maryland

Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/8/2016
Publication Date: 2/8/2016
Citation: Guo, M., Mishra, A., Buchanan, R., Dubey, J.P., Hill, D.E., Gamble, R., Jones, J., Pradhan, A. 2016. A systematic meta-analysis of Toxoplasma gondii prevalence in meat animals in the United States. Journal of Food Protection. 13(3):109-118.

Interpretive Summary: Toxoplasmosis caused by a single celled parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, continues to be a worldwide public health problem. Human toxoplasmosis accounts for an estimated one-fifth of all diagnosed foodborne infections in the United States, and one fifth of the economic costs attributable to any foodborne pathogen. Pregnant women and their fetuses are exposed to elevated health risks. In the present paper the authors evaluated data on prevalence in six animal categories (confinement raised market pigs, confinement raised sows, nonconfinement raised pigs, lamb, goats, and non-confinement raised chickens) by a quality-effects model. They concluded that food animals raised outdoors have a higher risk of acquiring T. gondii infection. These results will be useful for veterinarians, parasitologists, immunologists, and epidemiologists interested in understanding transmission risks attributable to the environmental stage of the agent of toxoplasmosis.

Technical Abstract: Toxoplasma gondii is a widely distributed protozoan parasite. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that T. gondii is one of three pathogens (along with Salmonella and Listeria), which together account for >70% of all deaths due to foodborne illness in the United States. Meat animals are reservoirs for T. gondii and act as sources for parasite transmission to humans. Based on limited population-based data, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) /World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that approximately 22% of human T. gondii infections are meatborne. The objective of the current study was to conduct a systematic meta-analysis to provide a precise estimation of T. gondii prevalence in meat animals. Four databases were searched to collect eligible studies published between 1960 and 2015. Prevalence was estimated in six animal categories (confinement raised market pigs, confinement raised sows, nonconfinement raised pigs, lamb, goats, and non-confinement raised chickens) by a quality-effects model. A wide variation in prevalence was observed in each animal category. Animals raised outdoors or that have outdoor access had a higher prevalence as compared with animals raised indoors. T. gondii prevalence in non-confinement raised pigs ranked the highest (31.0%) followed by goats (30.7%), non-confinement raised chickens (24.1%), lambs (22.0%), confinement raised sows (17.0%), and confinement raised market pigs (5.6%). These results demonstrate that T. gondii-infected animals are a food safety concern. The computed prevalence can be used as an important input in quantitative microbial risk assessment models to further predict public health burden.