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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 #359692

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

Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory

Title: Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and Leishmania spp. in domestic donkeys from Portugal

item RODRIGUES, FILIPA - University Of Tras-Os-montes And Alto Douro
item PEREIRA, CATARINA - University Of Tras-Os-montes And Alto Douro
item Dubey, Jitender
item NOVOA, MIGUEL - Associate For The Study And Protection Of Cattle
item QUARESMA, MIGUEL - Animal And Veterinary Research Centre(CECAV)
item SCHALLIG, HENK - Animal And Veterinary Research Centre(CECAV)
item CARDOSO, LOUIS - University Of Tras-Os-montes And Alto Douro
item LOPES, ANA - University Of Tras-Os-montes And Alto Douro

Submitted to: Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/28/2018
Publication Date: 3/1/2019
Citation: Rodrigues, F., Pereira, C., Dubey, J.P., Novoa, M., Quaresma, M., Schallig, H., Cardoso, L., Lopes, A. 2019. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and Leishmania spp. in domestic donkeys from Portugal. Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Parasitology. 28(1).

Interpretive Summary: Most emerging infectious diseases in humans are zoonoses. Among these pathogens, the zoonotic protozoan parasite T. gondii is perhaps the most ubiquitous, having been identified in the tissues of a variety of animal hosts, including both mammalian and avian species. Toxoplasma gondii is estimated to chronically infect one third of the world’s human population, causing ocular toxoplasmosis in immunocompetent individuals and often-fatal encephalitis in the immunocompromised, as well as birth defects and mortality following vertical transmission to developing fetuses. Leishmaniosis, another protozoan disease, causes serious illness in humans in Asia, Africa, and South America. Both diseases can infect many domestic and wild animals. The donkey is important and useful to humans in many ways. In some European countries, institutions and breeder associations have made strong efforts to preserve the existing autochthonous breeds, promoting their use as pets, in recreational activities (agritourism and trekking), for onotherapy (especially with children), meat products (gourmet and dietary products) and milk production (cosmetic industry and human nutrition). In the present study, authors found antibodies to T. gondii in 11 and Leishmania in 1 of 186 donkeys from Portugal donkeys. The results will be of interest to veterinarians, parasitologists, and biologists.

Technical Abstract: Toxoplasma gondii and Leishmania infantum are zoonotic protozoal parasites. Serum samples were obtained from 186 donkeys (Equus africanus asinus) from Portugal and assessed for antibodies to T. gondii by the modified agglutination test (MAT). For titration of antibodies to Leishmania spp. the direct agglutination test was used (DAT). Eleven donkeys were seropositive for T. gondii with titres of 20 (n = 7), 80 (n = 2), 640 (n = 1) and = 2560 (n = 1). One donkey was seropositive for Leishmania spp. (titre of 800). Donkeys in Portugal are exposed to and can be infected with T. gondii and Leishmania spp.