|VERMA, SHIV - Non ARS Employee|
|CALERO-BERNAL, RAFAEL - Non ARS Employee|
|CARSTENSEN, MICHELLE - Minnesota Department Of Natural Resources|
|HUMPAL, CAROLYN - Minnesota Department Of Natural Resources|
Submitted to: Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/16/2016
Publication Date: 3/2/2016
Citation: Verma, S., Calero-Bernal, R., Carstensen, M., Humpal, C., Dubey, J.P. 2016. Antibody detection and molecular characterization of Toxoplasma gondii from bobcats (Lynx rufus),domestic cats (Felis catus),and wildlife from Minnesota, USA. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology. 63:567-571.
Interpretive Summary: Toxoplasmosis, caused by the single celled parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, continues to be a public health problem worldwide. This parasite infects all warm-blooded hosts, including humans. It causes mental retardation and loss of vision in children, and abortion in livestock. The ingestion of food and water contaminated with resistant stage of the parasite, the oocyst, is now considered a major mode of transmission of this parasite. Of all the hosts infected, only cats 9including wild felids) are known to excrete oocysts in feces. Recent studies have found high prevalence of T. gondii infection in wild remote areas of Minnesota, in the absence of domestic cats. Bobcat (Lynx refus) is the only wild felid in Minnesota. In the present study, authors found antibodies to Toxoplasma in 29 (58%) of 50 wild legally hunted bobcats. Only frozen carcasses were available for the current study; future studies are planned to isolate viable Toxoplasma in fresh samples become available. The presence of a related parasite, Sarcocystis neurona was also documented. These results will be of interest to veterinarians and biologists.
Technical Abstract: Toxoplasma gondii and Sarcocystis felis are protozoan parasites that infect both, domestic and wild felids. Bobcats are the definitive host in the life cycle of T. gondii. Limited information’s are available concerning T. gondii infection in different populations of bobcats. In the paper, the prevalence’s of T. gondii and S. felis were reported in 50 bobcats collected from Minnesota State, USA. Twenty nine of 50 (58%) bobcats had antibodies to T. gondii by the modified agglutination test. Sarcocysts were found in 19 of 50 (38.0%) bobcats. In the phylogenetic tree based on cox1 sequences; S. felis clustered in a clade together with S. arctica, S. lutrae, and S. rileyi. In conclusion, co-infection of T. gondii (serology) and S. felis (histology) were detected in Minnesota bobcat’s population. The molecular results might be useful in finding the natural hosts of S. felis and distinguishing from other species of Sarcocystis.