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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 #333173

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

Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory

Title: Seroepidemiology and risk assessment of Toxoplasma gondii infection in captive wild birds and mammals in two zoos in the North of Portugal

Author
item Tidy, Ana - University Of Tras-Os-montes And Alto Douro
item Dubey, Jitender
item Cardosa, Luis - University Of Tras-Os-montes And Alto Douro
item Lopes, Ana - University Of Tras-Os-montes And Alto Douro
item Fangueiro, Sara - University Of Tras-Os-montes And Alto Douro

Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/9/2017
Publication Date: 2/15/2017
Citation: Tidy, A., Dubey, J.P., Cardosa, L., Lopes, A., Fangueiro, S. 2017. Seroepidemiology and risk assessment of Toxoplasma gondii infection in captive wild birds and mammals in two zoos in the North of Portugal. Veterinary Parasitology. 235:47-52.

Interpretive Summary: Human toxoplasmosis, caused by single-celled parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, continues to be a significant public health problem in the United States. Pregnant women and their fetuses are exposed to elevated health risks. Cats (pets and wild) are the main reservoirs of infection because they are the only hosts that can excrete environmentally resistant stage (oocyst) in their feces. Humans and animals can acquire toxoplasmosis by ingesting food and water contaminated with oocysts. Toxoplasmosis in zoo animals is both the public health and economic importance. Many species of captive animals (kangaroos, New World monkeys, Pallas cats) are highly susceptible and die of toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasma oocysts excreted by cats (large and small, including lion) contaminate the zoo environment and of public health concern, particularly children and pregnant women who visit zoos. In the present study authors report a high rate of exposure of zoo animals in Portugal. The results will be of interest to biologists, dog owners, and parasitologists.

Technical Abstract: Human toxoplasmosis, caused by single-celled parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, continues to be a significant public health problem in the United States. Pregnant women and their fetuses are exposed to elevated health risks. Cats (pets and wild) are the main reservoirs of infection because they are the only hosts that can excrete environmentally resistant stage (oocyst) in their feces. Humans and animals can acquire toxoplasmosis by ingesting food and water contaminated with oocysts. Toxoplasmosis in zoo animals is both the public health and economic importance. Many species of captive animals (kangaroos, New World monkeys, Pallas cats) are highly susceptible and die of toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasma oocysts excreted by cats (large and small, including lion) contaminate the zoo environment and of public health concern, particularly children and pregnant women who visit zoos. In the present study authors report a high rate of exposure of zoo animals in Portugal. The results will be of interest to biologists, dog owners, and parasitologists.