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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTEGRATED APPROACH TO THE DETECTION AND CONTROL OF FOODBORNE PARASITES AND THE IMPACT ON FOOD SAFETY

Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases

Title: Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence in donkeys (Equus asinus) from Italy

Authors
item Bartova, E -
item Machacova, T -
item Di Loria, A -
item Sedlak, K -
item Mariani, U -
item Fusco, G -
item Fulgione, D -
item Veneziano, V -
item Dubey, Jitender

Submitted to: Journal of Veterinary Medical Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 24, 2013
Publication Date: February 1, 2014
Citation: Bartova, E., Machacova, T., Di Loria, A., Sedlak, K., Mariani, U., Fusco, G., Fulgione, D., Veneziano, V., Dubey, J.P. 2014. Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence in donkeys (Equus asinus) from Italy. Journal of Veterinary Medical Science. 76(2):265-267.

Interpretive Summary: Toxoplasma gondii is a single-celled parasite of all warm-blooded hosts worldwide. It causes mental retardation and loss of vision in children, and abortion in livestock. Cats are the main reservoir of T. gondii because they are the only hosts that can excrete the resistant stage (oocyst) of the parasite in the feces. Humans become infected by eating under cooked meat from infected animals and food and water contaminated with oocysts. Little is known of toxoplasmosis in donkeys.There is an increasing interest in donkeys due to their use in leisure activities, as pets, as working animals, use of their milk for children affected with cow milk allergy, and consumption of donkey milk and meat for human consumption in many countries. In the present study, authors found antibodies to Toxoplasma in 8% of 238 donkeys from Italy for the first time. The results will be of interest to biologists, and Parasitologists.

Technical Abstract: There is an increasing interest on donkeys due to their use in leisure activities, as pets, as working animals, for onotherapy, use of their milk for children affected with cow milk allergy, and consumption of donkey milk and meat for human consumption. Toxoplasmosis, important zoonosis, can be transmitted by eating meat or drinking milk of animals infected by Toxoplasma gondii. Little is known of T. gondii infection in donkeys worldwide. Sera from 238 domestic donkeys (Equus asinus) in Italy were tested for T. gondii antibodies (cut off titre 50) by a commercial latex agglutination test (LAT) and the indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT); 5% were seropositive by LAT and 8% were seropositive by IFAT. Risk factors associated with seropositivity in donkeys and public health implications were discussed. This is the first detection of T. gondii antibodies in donkeys in Italy.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
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