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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 #379232

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

Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory

Title: Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in outdoor dogs and cats in Bangkok, Thailand

item HUARTAS-LOPEZ, ANA - Universidad De Murcia
item SUKUMAVASI, WORAPORN - Chulalongkorn University
item ALVAREZ-GARCIA, GEMA - Complutense University Of Madrid (UCM)
item MARTINEZ-SUBIELA, SILVIA - Universidad De Murcia
item CANO-TERRIZA, DAVID - Universidad De Cordoba
item ALMERIA, SONIA - Food And Drug Administration(FDA)
item Dubey, Jitender
item GARCIA-BOCANEGRA, IGNACIO - Universidad De Cordoba
item CERON, JOSE JOAQUIN - Universidad De Murcia
item MARTINEZ-CARRASCO, CARLOS - Universidad De Murcia

Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/28/2021
Publication Date: 3/10/2021
Citation: Huartas-Lopez, A., Sukumavasi, W., Alvarez-Garcia, G., Martinez-Subiela, S., Cano-Terriza, D., Almeria, S., Dubey, J.P., Garcia-Bocanegra, I., Ceron, J., Martinez-Carrasco, C. 2021. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in outdoor dogs and cats in Bangkok, Thailand. Veterinary Parasitology. 148:843-849.

Interpretive Summary: Thailand is a popular tourist attraction because of the location and mild climate. Knowledge on the regional prevalence of zoonotic pathogens must raise awareness and contribute to the prevention and control of animal and potentially associated human infection and disease. Cats are dogs are associated with risk of acquiring Toxoplasma gondii infection, a protozoan of importance for human health and disease in livestock. Cats are the only hosts that can excrete environmentally resistant oocysts in feces. Humans can become infected by consumption of water and food contaminated with oocysts. Humans can also acquire infection by petting dogs that have rolled over on cat feces contaminated with oocysts (dogs are known to eat cat feces or roll over on it). Here, authors found a relatively low (7.9%) prevalence of T. gondii exposure in cats and dogs in Bangkok, Thailand, compared with other countries. Implications of prevalence are discussed. The results will be of interests to veterinarians, parasitologists and public health workers. This research was completed before redirection of Toxoplasma research at ARS.

Technical Abstract: The aim of this study was to evaluate the seroprevalence and risk factors associated with Toxoplasma gondii in dogs and cats from Bangkok, Thailand. Blood samples from 318 dogs and 321 cats were tested for T. gondii antibodies by modified agglutination test (MAT, cut-off 1:25). Additionally, 18 dogs and 20 cats were longitudinally sampled for T. gondii antibodies during the same study period. The overall seroprevalence in dogs and cats was 7.9% (25/318; 95% CI: 4.9-10.8%) and 18.7% (95% CI: 14.4-23.0%), respectively. For dogs, risk factors identified were being a mixed-breed animal and living totally outdoors, while increasing age was shown to be a risk factor for cats. Seroconversion was not detected and titers from positive animals remained constant over longitudinal study. The present study indicates that there is a prominent presence of T. gondii in urban and peri-urban areas of Bangkok, suggesting that outdoor dogs and cats should be considered as a possible risk factor for humans.