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      An innovative survey underlining the significant level of contamination by Toxoplasma gondii of ovine meat consumed in France

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          Abstract

          Consumption of sheep meat presents a risk of human contamination by Toxoplasma gondii. A nationwide study was conducted in France to evaluate the prevalence of Toxoplasma in fresh ovine meat. A sampling procedure was established to guarantee the representativity of consumption. As is the case for meat consumed, half of the samples were from France and half were imported from other countries. Animals were selected according to their age, as lamb (<12months) represents 90% of the meat consumed. Available data for French samples allowed the selection of 16 districts distributed in seven areas according to their density of production. Diaphragms and hearts from 433 sheep were collected. Diaphragms were collected from 398 imported carcasses. Fluids from hearts and diaphragms were tested serologically. All hearts were bioassayed in mice and parasite isolates were genotyped using PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism and microsatellite markers. Prevalence estimates were calculated, taking into account uneven distribution of production and age. For French meat, the effect of area, age and their interactions was evaluated. The overall estimate of Toxoplasma seroprevalence was 17.7% (11.6-31.5%) for lambs and 89% (73.5-100%) for adults (P<0.0001). No significant difference was observed between imported and French meat. In France, seroprevalence in lambs showed an increasing North-western to Southern gradient. The proportion of French carcasses carrying live parasites according to bioassay results was estimated at 5.4% (3-7.5%) (45 genotype II; one genotype III). This study offers an accurate drawing of the toxoplasmosis pattern amongst sheep consumed in France and a model for a zoonosis hazard control survey. 2009 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          International Journal for Parasitology
          International Journal for Parasitology
          Elsevier BV
          00207519
          February 2010
          February 2010
          : 40
          : 2
          : 193-200
          Article
          10.1016/j.ijpara.2009.06.009
          19631651
          © 2010

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