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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 #356948

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

Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory

Title: Detection of anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in small wild mammals from preserved and non-preserved areas in the Caatinga biome, a semi-arid region of Northeast Brazil

Author
item Horta, Mouricio - Universidade Federal Do Vale Do São Francisco
item Guimaraes, Maria - Universidade Federal Do Vale Do São Francisco
item Arraes-santos, Ana - Universidade Federal Do Vale Do São Francisco
item Araujo, Adreina - Universidade Federal Do Vale Do São Francisco
item Dubey, Jitender
item Labruna, Marcelo - Universidad De Sao Paulo
item Gennari, Solange - Universidade De Sao Paulo
item Pena, Hilda - Universidade De Sao Paulo

Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/30/2018
Publication Date: 8/31/2018
Citation: Horta, M., Guimaraes, M., Arraes-Santos, A., Araujo, A., Dubey, J.P., Labruna, M., Gennari, S., Pena, H. 2018. Detection of anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in small wild mammals from preserved and non-preserved areas in the Caatinga biome, a semi-arid region of Northeast Brazil. Veterinary Parasitology. 14:75-78. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vprsr.2018.08.007.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vprsr.2018.08.007

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, abortion in livestock, and contributes to mortality in wildlife. 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. Epidemiological data indicate that cats become infected with T. gondii by eating tissues if infected animals, most likely rodents and birds. Little information is available concerning prevalence of Toxoplasma in remote areas with little human interaction. In the present study, authors report prevalence of Toxoplasma in wild small mammals in remote areas of Brazil; these can serve as sources of wild cats. The results will be useful for parasitologists and biologists.

Technical Abstract: This study was conducted to determine the seroprevalence of anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in 152 free-living small wild mammals from distinct regions in the Caatinga biome, a semi-arid region in the Northeast of Brazil: the National Park of Serra das Confusões (NPSC), which is a preserved area in the state of Piauí, and the municipalities of Petrolina and Lagoa Grande, two non-preserved areas in the state of Pernambuco. Using the modified agglutination test (MAT), we found that 5.3% (4/75) and 3.3% (2/60) of small wild mammals were positive for IgG anti-T. gondii antibodies in the NPSC and Petrolina, respectively. All mammals from Lagoa Grande (0/17) tested negative on the MAT. Indirect infection of T. gondii was determined in Galea spixii, Monodelphis domestica and Thrichomys laurentius (from NPSC) and in Didelphis albiventris (from Petrolina). The circulation of T. gondii was observed in both preserved and non-preserved areas within the Caatinga biome. Low seroprevalences observed can be related to the extreme temperature and humidity in this environment.