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      Toxoplasma gondii in sympatric domestic and wild ungulates in the Mediterranean ecosystem.

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          Abstract

          Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic protozoan of worldwide distribution. The present study provides information on risk factors affecting T. gondii infection in domestic and free-ranging wild ungulates sharing habitats in Mediterranean ecosystems in Spain. Serum samples from 482 extensively reared domestic ruminants and 2351 wild ungulates were tested for T. gondii antibodies using the modified agglutination test (MAT, cut-off 1:25). Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence was 41.2% of 194 sheep, 18.6% of 199 cattle and 5.6% of 89 goats. The main risk factors associated with infection in livestock were the presence of cats, feeding on the ground and at stubble fields. In wild ungulates, T. gondii antibodies were detected in 10.5% of 1063 red deer, 15.6% of 294 fallow deer, 5.6% of 216 European mouflon, 5.6% of 90 Spanish ibex, 13.6% of 22 roe deer and 18.6% of 666 wild boars. The risk factors affecting T. gondii infection in wildlife were species, age and hunting season. Significantly higher seroprevalence was found in domestic ruminants, particularly in sheep, compared to the wild species tested. The present study indicates widespread exposure to T. gondii among domestic and wild ungulates in Southern Spain, with significant differences among species sharing the same ecosystem. The high seroprevalence observed in domestic ruminants, particularly in sheep, reinforces the need for farm management practices to control the risk factors associated with T. gondii infection in extensively reared livestock. Consumption of raw and undercooked food products from domestic and wildlife species may have important implications for public health.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Parasitol. Res.
          Parasitology research
          Springer Nature America, Inc
          1432-1955
          0932-0113
          Mar 2018
          : 117
          : 3
          Affiliations
          [1 ] UAB, Centre de Recerca en Sanitat Animal (CReSA, IRTA-UAB), Campus de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain. Maria.Almeria@fda.hhs.gov.
          [2 ] FDA, CFSAN, OARSA, DFEM, Laurel, USA. Maria.Almeria@fda.hhs.gov.
          [3 ] UAB, Centre de Recerca en Sanitat Animal (CReSA, IRTA-UAB), Campus de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain.
          [4 ] Servei d'Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge (SEFaS), Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia Animals, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain.
          [5 ] Departamento de Sanidad Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Córdoba (UCO), Campus Universitario de Rabanales, Córdoba, Spain.
          [6 ] Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Agriculture Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, USA.
          Article
          10.1007/s00436-017-5705-6
          10.1007/s00436-017-5705-6
          29344801
          78734423-f010-47ee-9567-55d7dd8094e0

          Toxoplasma gondii,Wild ungulates,Domestic ruminants,Spain

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