Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #322854

Title: Detection of zoonotic protozoa Toxoplasma gondii and Sarcocystis suihominis in wild boars from Spain

item CALERO-BERNAL, RAFAEL - Oak Ridge Institute For Science And Education (ORISE)
item PEREZ-MARTIN, JUAN - Universidad De Extremadura
item REINA, DAVID - Universidad De Extremadura
item SERRANO, FRANCISCO - Universidad De Extremadura
item FRONTERA, EVA - Universidad De Extremadura
item FUENTES, ISABELLE - Instituto De Salud Carlos Iii
item Dubey, Jitender

Submitted to: Zoonoses and Public Health
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/3/2015
Publication Date: 11/25/2015
Citation: Calero-Bernal, R., Perez-Martin, J.E., Reina, D., Serrano, F.J., Frontera, E., Fuentes, I., Dubey, J.P. 2015. Detection of zoonotic protozoa Toxoplasma gondii and Sarcocystis suihominis in wild boars from Spain. Zoonoses and Public Health. 63:346-350. doi:10.1111/zph.12243.

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. Sarcocystis is another protozoan parasite genus related to Toxoplasma. Humans can acquire both Toxoplasma and Sarcocystis by eating undercooked pork. Unlike, Toxoplasma, only a few species of Sarcocystis are zoonotic. In the present paper, the authors found a high (23.8%) prevalence of T. gondii antibodies and the zoonotic Sarcocystis suihominis in at least 1 of the 910 wild boars hunted in Spain. These results will be of interest to parasitologists, veterinarians, wildlife biologists and public health workers.

Technical Abstract: Food safety regulations require the control of presence of protozoa in meats destined for human consumption. Wild boar (Sus scrofa) meat may constitute a source of zoonoses. A 23.8% (688/2881) seroprevalence of anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies, and 72.2% (662/910) Sarcocystis sarcocysts prevalence were detected among wild boars hunted in Southwestern areas of Spain. Identity of Sarcocystis spp. was done by RFLP-PCR and sequencing, detecting S. miescheriana (7/8) and the zoonotic S. suihominis (1/8). Risk assessment studies of these coccidian in meats destined to human consumption are needed.