Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases LaboratoryTitle: Epidemiological and public health significance of Toxoplasma gondii infection in wild rabbits and hares: 2009-2020
|ALMERIA, SONIA - Food And Drug Administration(FDA)|
|MURATA, FERNANDO - Non ARS Employee|
|CERQUEIRA-CEZAR, CAMILA - Non ARS Employee|
|SHIPLEY, ALICIA - University Of Maryland|
Submitted to: Microorganisms
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/10/2021
Publication Date: 3/14/2021
Citation: Almeria, S., Murata, F., Cerqueira-Cezar, C., Kwok, O.C., Shipley, A., Dubey, J.P. 2021. Epidemiological and public health significance of Toxoplasma gondii infection in wild rabbits and hares: 2009-2020. Microorganisms. 9(597). https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9030597.
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. Demand for rabbit meat for human consumption is increasing, therefore, toxoplasmosis in rabbits and hares is of epidemiological significance Here, the authors review prevalence, persistence of infection, clinical disease, epidemiology, and public health risks of T. gondii infections in rabbits worldwide 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. This research was accomplished before the redirection of Toxoplasma research by ARS in 2018.
Technical Abstract: Toxoplasmosis is a zoonosis of global distribution and Toxoplasma gondii infections are common in humans and animals worldwide. Hares and rabbits are important small game species and their meat is consumed by humans in many countries. Demand for rabbit meat for human consumption is increasing, therefore, toxoplasmosis in rabbits and hares is of epidemiological significance. The present review summarizes worldwide information on seroprevalence, parasitological investigations, clinical cases, isolation, and genetic diversity of T. gondii in wild rabbits, free domestic rabbits, hares, and other rabbits from 2009 to 2020. This review will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, veterinarians, and public health workers.