Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases LaboratoryTitle: Antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in slaughtered free-range and broiler chickens
|RODRIGUES, FILIPA - University Of Tras-Os-montes And Alto Douro|
|MOREIRA, FERNANDO - The University Of Porto|
|COUTINHO, TERESA - University Of Tras-Os-montes And Alto Douro|
|CARDOSO, LUIS - University Of Tras-Os-montes And Alto Douro|
|LOPES, ANA PATRICIA - University Of Tras-Os-montes And Alto Douro|
Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/10/2019
Publication Date: 7/15/2019
Citation: Rodrigues, F.T., Moreira, F.A., Coutinho, T., Dubey, J.P., Cardoso, L., Lopes, A. 2019. Antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in slaughtered free-range and broiler chickens. Veterinary Parasitology. 271(2019):51-53. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2019.06.007.
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. Of all the hosts infected, only cats are known to excrete oocysts in feces. Cats can excrete millions of oocysts after eating an infected prey, such as a mouse or a bird. Oocysts can survive outdoors for months and they are highly infectious to humans. Prevention of T. gondii infection in food animals is essential for reducing infection in humans. Outdoor raised chickens are considered an important source of Toxoplasma infection for cats. In the present study authors found for the first time T. gondii antibodies in 5.6% of 178 free-range and 0% in 170 broiler chickens raised indoors and slaughtered in Portugal. The paper will be of interest to biologists, public health workers and parasitologists.
Technical Abstract: The consumption of undercooked infected chicken can be a source of infection for humans and carnivores regarding the zoonotic protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Furthermore, free-range chickens are sentinels for the presence of T. gondii oocysts in the environment because they feed from the ground. By using the modified agglutination test (MAT), we investigated the presence of antibodies to T. gondii in 178 free-range and 170 broiler chickens raised indoors and slaughtered in Portugal. Prevalence of specific antibodies was 5.6 % in free-range and 0.0% in broiler chickens raised indoors (p = 0.002). Because the source of poultry (free-range versus broiler) may not be labelled for the meat in grocery stores, all chicken meat should be cooked thoroughly at proper temperatures to prevent human infections.