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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 #363601

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

Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory

Title: Epidemiological investigation of Toxoplasma gondii infections in commercial sheep flock in an endemic area for ocular toxoplasmosis in Southern Brazil

item CONSALTER, ANGELICA - Fluminense Federal University(UFF)
item FRAZÃO-TEIXEIRA, EDWARDS - Oswaldo Cruz Foundation
item Dubey, Jitender
item ZANELLA, ERALDO - University Of Passo Fundo
item DA SILVA, ANDRESSA - Universidade Federal Rural Do Rio De Janeiro
item DE SOUZA, GUILHERME - Embrapa Dairy Cattle
item FERREIRA, ANA - Fluminense Federal University(UFF)

Submitted to: Acta Parasitologica
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/24/2019
Publication Date: 6/11/2019
Citation: Consalter, A., Frazão-Teixeira, E., Dubey, J.P., Zanella, E.L., Da Silva, A.F., De Souza, G.N., Ferreira, A.M. 2019. Epidemiological investigation of Toxoplasma gondii infections in commercial sheep flock in an endemic area for ocular toxoplasmosis in Southern Brazil. Acta Parasitologica. 64:514-519.

Interpretive Summary: Toxoplasmosis, caused by the single celled parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, continues to be a public health problem worldwide. This parasite infects all warm-blooded hosts, including humans. It causes mental retardation and loss of vision in children, and abortion in livestock. The ingestion of food and water contaminated with resistant stage of the parasite, the oocyst, is a major mode of transmission of this parasite. The prevalence of T. gondii is highest in South American countries, especially Brazil. The incidence of clinical toxoplasmosis and the severity of disease are also highest in Brazil, especially in southern region; the ingestion of undercooked meat is thought to be the main source of infection in humans. In the present paper, authors found a high (70%) rate of seroprevalence in sheep from southern Brazil. Access of cats to sheep barns was identified as the main risk factor. The paper will be of interest to biologists, public health workers and parasitologists.

Technical Abstract: Toxoplasma gondii is a widely distributed parasite and of great importance to human and animal health. The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of T. gondii antibodies and risk factors associated with the infection in sheep in the Northwest region of the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil; this region has a very high rate of human ocular toxoplasmosis. Ovine sera were tested by the modified agglutination test (cut-off 1:25) and T. gondii antibodies were detected in 70.2 % (224 of 319). According to the logistic regression, the most significant factors associated were age and cat access to food stock facility. Preventive measures are discussed to reduce the risk of transmission of this zoonosis.