Submitted to: American Journal of Veterinary Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Infection by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii is common in livestock and humans. It causes abortion in livestock and mental retardation and blindness in children. The cat is the main reservoir of infection because it is the only animal that can produce the resistant form of Toxoplasma (oocysts). Toxoplasma infection is usually asymptomatic in cats but they can develop clinical toxoplasmosis. Diagnosis of toxoplasmosis in kittens is often difficult. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and the Colorado State University have found that they can detect specific antibodies in kitten sera by Western blots. The results described should help in the diagnosis of toxoplasmosis in cats.
Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to evaluate antigen recognition patterns of serum IgM, IgG, and IgA for queens and their kittens as a method of diagnosing neonatal toxoplasmosis. Using the results of Western blot immunoassay 8 of 19 kittens (age 2-97 days) were determined to be infected by Toxoplasma gondii. Western blot immunoassay additionally identified 1 kitten as infected which had not been bioassayed. Each of the 5 kittens which developed clinical signs of toxoplasmosis had the diagnosis of neonatal toxoplasmosis supported by the results of the Western blot immunoassays.