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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 #329876

Research Project: Detection and Control of Foodborne Parasites for Food Safety

Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory

Title: Antibody detection and molecular characterization of toxoplasma gondii from bobcats (Lynx rufus), domestic cats (Felis catus), and wildlife from Minnesota, USA

Author
item Verma, Shiv - Non ARS Employee
item Minicucci, L - University Of Minnesota
item Murphy, D - University Of Minnesota
item Carstensen, M - Minnesota Department Of Natural Resources
item Humpal, C - Minnesota Department Of Natural Resources
item Wolf, P - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
item Calero-bernal, Rafael - Non ARS Employee
item Cerqueira-cezar, Camila - Non ARS Employee
item Kwok, Oliver
item Su, C - University Of Tennessee
item Hill, Dolores
item Dubey, Jitender

Submitted to: Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/2/2016
Publication Date: 3/2/2016
Citation: Verma, S.K., Minicucci, L., Murphy, D., Carstensen, M., Humpal, C., Wolf, P., Calero-Bernal, R., Cerqueira-Cezar, C., Kwok, O.C., Su, C., Hill, D.E., 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: Little is known of the epidemiology of T. gondii infection in wild animals in Minnesota. A serological survey of 1,367 hunter-killed white tailed deer from four regions of Minnesota in 1990–1993 revealed 30% seropositivity. In recent surveys conducted more than two decades later with tests performed using the same serological methods, seropositivity of 53.5% and 22.5% were documented in deer. In addition, viable T. gondii was isolated from the fetus of ten deer and two moose. T. gondii antibodies were reported in 52.4% of 248 wolves from various sources in Minnesota and viable T. gondii was isolated from 30 wolves. The bobcat (Lynx rufus) is the most prevalent wild felid in Minnesota, and its primary range corresponds to the forested northern third of the state. Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) also occurs in far northeastern Minnesota, but is considered rare. Unrestrained domestic and feral cats exist throughout Minnesota. There is no information on T. gondii infection in bobcats and domestic cats from Minnesota. Here, we report the T. gondii infection in felids and other animals in Minnesota.

Technical Abstract: Little is known of the epidemiology of toxoplasmosis in Minnesota. In this study, we evaluated Toxoplasma gondii infection in 50 wild bobcats (Lynx rufus) and 75 other animals on/near 10 cattle farms. Antibodies to T. gondii were assayed in serum samples or tissue fluids by the modified agglutination test (MAT, cut-off 1:25). Twenty nine of 50 bobcats and 15 of 41 wildlife trapped on the vicinity of 10 farms and 9 of 16 adult domestic cats (Felis catus) and 6 of 14 domestic dogs resident on farms were seropositive. Toxoplasma gondii oocysts were not found in feces of any felid. Tissues of all seropositive wild animals trapped on the farm were bioassayed in mice and viable T. gondii was isolated from 2 badgers (Taxidea taxus), 2 raccoons (Procyon lotor), 1 coyote (Canis latrans), and 1 opossum (Didelphis virginiana). All 6 T. gondii isolates were further propagated in cell culture. Multi-locus PCR-RFLP genotyping using 10 markers (SAG1, SAG2 (5'- 3'SAG2, and alt.SAG2), SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico) of DNA from cell culture derived tachyzoites revealed three genotypes; #5 ToxoDataBase (1 coyote, 1 raccoon), #1 (1 badger, 1 raccoon, 1 opossum), and #2 (1 badger). This is the first report of T. gondii prevalence in domestic cats and in bobcats from Minnesota, and the first isolation of viable T. gondii from badger.