Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/5/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Infections by the protozoan (single-celled) parasite Toxoplasma gondii are widespread in man and animals. They cause mental retardation and loss of vision in children and abortion in livestock. Little is known of the prevalence of T. gondii in animals in Zimbabwe. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and the University of Zimbabwe in Harare have found serum antibodies in 9.3% of 97 domestic pigs, and 5 to 50% in various wild animals. These results should be of interest to biologists and parasitologists.
Technical Abstract: Serum samples of domestic pigs (Sus scrofa), elands (Taurotragus oryx), sable antelopes (Hippotragus niger), warthogs (Phacochoerus aethiopicus), bushpigs (Koiropotamus [Potamochoerus] koiropotamus), white rhinos (Ceratotherium simus), African buffalos (Syncerus caffer), wildebeest (Connochaetas taurinus), and African elephants (Loxodonta africana) from Zimbabwe were tested for Toxoplasma gondii IgG antibodies by the modified agglutination test (MAT) incorporating whole formalized tachyzoites and mercaptoethanol in the antigen. Sera were diluted at 1:25, 1:50, and 1:500 for MAT testing. Sera with antibodies in a 1:25 dilution were considered to have T. gondii infection. Toxoplasma gondii antibodies were found in 9.3% of 97 domestic pigs, 36.8% of 19 elands, 11.9% of 67 sables, 0% of 3 warthogs, 0% of 3 bushpigs, 50% of 2 white rhinos, 5.6% of 18 buffalos, 14.5% of 69 wildebeest, and 10.5% of 19 elephants examined.