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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 #376053

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

Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory

Title: All about Toxoplasma gondii infections in pigs: 2009-2020

item Dubey, Jitender
item MURATA, FERNANDO - Non ARS Employee
item Kwok, Oliver
item HILL, DOLORES - Retired ARS Employee
item YANG, YURONG - Henan Agricultural University
item SU, CHUNLEI - University Of Tennessee

Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/28/2020
Publication Date: 12/1/2020
Publication URL:
Citation: Dubey, J.P., Cerqueira-Cezar, C., Murata, F.H., Kwok, O.C., Hill, D., Yang, Y., Su, C. 2020. All about Toxoplasma gondii infections in pigs: 2009-2020. Veterinary Parasitology. 288:109185.

Interpretive Summary: Food safety research is of paramount importance for agriculture and the public. Foodborne protozoon infections are a leading cause of death from foodborne illness in the United States, especially for individuals with weak immune systems such as children and HIV patients. USDA research in this area has borne undeniable results – including helping to cut the prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii by as much as 50 percent in the United States. The USDA provided the veterinary, clinical, and public health communities an indispensable resource by disseminating up to date scientific information on toxoplasmosis and its prevention. Humans become infected mostly by ingesting food and water contaminated with oocysts or by eating infected under cooked meat. Pigs are one of the most important sources of T. gondii infection in humans in China, USA and Europe. The present paper reviews literature on toxoplasmosis in pigs for the past decade. This information will support veterinarians, physicians, and federal agencies seeking to advance additional research needed in this area regarding human health.

Technical Abstract: Toxoplasma gondii infections are common in humans and animals worldwide. Toxoplasmosis in pigs continues to be of public health concern. Pigs are important for the economy of many countries, particularly, USA, China, and European countries. Among the many food animals, pigs are the most important for T. gondii transmission in USA and China because viable parasite has rarely been isolated from beef, and indoor raised chickens. Besides public health issues, toxoplasmosis causes outbreaks of clinical toxoplasmosis in pigs in China, associated with a unique genotype of T. gondii (ToxoDB genotype #9 or Chinese 1), rarely found in other countries. The safety of ready to eat pork products with respect to T. gondii infection is a matter of recent debate. Here, we review in detail seroprevalence, prevalence of viable and nonviable T. gondii, epidemiology, risk assessment, diagnosis, curing of pork products containing T. gondii, and control for the past decade. This review will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, veterinarians, and public health workers.