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      Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in pet dogs in Lanzhou, Northwest China


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          In recent years, surveys of Toxoplasma gondii infection in dogs have been reported worldwide, including China. However, little is known about the prevalence of T. gondii in pet dogs in Northwest China. In the present study, the prevalence of T. gondii in pet dogs in Lanzhou, China was investigated using the modified agglutination test (MAT).


          In this survey, antibodies to T. gondii were found in 28 of 259 (10.81%) pet dogs, with MAT titers of 1:20 in 14 dogs, 1:40 in nine, 1:80 in four, and 1:160 or higher in one dog. The prevalence ranged from 6.67% to 16.67% among dogs of different ages, with low rates in young pet dogs, and high rates in older pet dogs. The seroprevalence in dogs >3 years old was higher than that in dogs ≤1 years old, but the difference was not statistically significant ( P >0.05). The seroprevalence in male dogs was 12.50% (17 of 136), and in female dogs it was 8.94% (11 of 123), but the difference was not statistically significant ( P >0.05).


          A high prevalence of T. gondii infection was found in pet dogs in Lanzhou, Northwest China, which has implications for public health in this region. In order to reduce the risk of exposure to T. gondii, further measures and essential control strategies should be carried out rationally in this region.

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          Toxoplasma gondii: Evidence for the transmission by semen in dogs.

          Ten male dogs were distributed into three experimental groups for infection with Toxoplasma gondii: GI - three dogs inoculated with 2.0x10(5) P strais oocysts, GII - three dogs infected with 1.0x10(6) RH strain tachyzoites, and GIII - four controls dogs. Several clinical parameters were evaluated. IFAT was performed to detect anti-T. gondii antibodies. Presence of the parasite in semen was evaluated by PCR and bioassay techniques. Tissue parasitism was examined using bioassays and immunohistochemistry in testicle and epididymis fragments collected after orchiectomy. In semen samples collected from these two groups, the presence of T. gondii was verified by bioassays and PCR. T. gondii was detected by immunohistochemistry in tissues (testicle and epididymis fragments) of all six experimentally infected dogs. The T. gondii-positive seminal samples were used in the artificial insemination (AI) of four female dogs free of toxoplasmic infection. Seven days after AI, all of the female dogs presented serologic conversion (IFAT). Fetal reabsorption occurred in two of the dogs, while the others sustained full-term gestation. Several T. gondii cysts were detected in the brains of four offspring. These results suggest that T. gondii can be sexually transmitted in domestic dogs.
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            Isolation of Toxoplasma gondii from animals in Durango, Mexico.

            Little is known concerning the epidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii infection in people and animals in rural Mexico. Serum samples and tissues from 150 dogs (Canis familaris), 150 cats (Felis catus), 65 opossums (Didelphis virginianus), 249 rats (Rattus spp.), 127 mice (Mus musculus), and 69 squirrels (Spermophilus variegatus) from the Durango area were evaluated for T. gondii infection. Using a modified agglutination test and a serum dilution of 1:25, antibodies to this parasite were found in 68 (45.3%) of 150 dogs, 14 (9.3%) of 150 cats, 11 (16.6%) of 66 opossums, 2 (0.8%) of 249 rats, 4 (3.1%) of 127 mice, and 0 of 69 squirrels. Tissues (brain and heart) of dogs, cats, opossums, rats, mice, and squirrels were bioassayed in mice for the presence of T. gondii. Viable T. gondii was isolated in tissues from 3 of 28 seropositive dogs and 5 of 8 seropositive cats, but not from the other animals. The DNA obtained from the 3 T. gondii isolates from dogs, 6 isolates from 5 cats, and 4 isolates from free-range chickens from Mexico, previously isolated, were genotyped. The PCR-RFLP typing, which used 11 markers (B 1, SAGI, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico), identified 5 genotypes. One genotype (the 4 chicken isolates) belongs to the clonal Type III lineage, three genotypes were reported in previous reports, and 1 genotype is unique.
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              Review of "Toxoplasmosis of Animals and Humans (Second Edition)" by J.P. Dubey

              Review The intracellular apicomplexan protozoan Toxoplasma gondii is found worldwide, is capable of infecting almost any cell type within an exceptionally broad host range - across humans, livestock, companion animals and wildlife, making it one of the most 'successful' protozoan parasites on earth. It has been just over 100 years since the discovery of Toxoplasma gondii parasite in 1908, in the little hamster-like rodent Ctenodactylus gundi, by Nicolle and Manceaux. This book, 'Toxoplasmosis of Animals and Humans', marks almost two decades since the publication of its first edition, originally written by both the current author, J.P. Dubey, together with his former professor, the late C.P. Beattie. During this period there undoubtedly has been a proliferation of knowledge concerning T. gondii and toxoplasmosis, to the point where it is perhaps no longer the 'poor cousin' to malaria research. Indeed, even the genome of at least one T. gondii reference line has been published recently. Such an updated edition is thus certainly timely and will provide a valuable addition to all those biology, veterinary, medical researchers and students working in this field. The book opens with a chapter on the general biology of Toxoplasma gondii. It considers the history of the parasite, including, for instance, its potential evolution from a coccidian parasite of cats with a faecal-oral cycle prior to subsequent adaptation to additional transmission routes through carnivorism and transplacental transmission. Recent developments in our understanding of the cell biology and molecular biology of the parasite are also briefly covered. Likewise, this chapter touches on the current knowledge concerning potential behavioural alterations associated with infection in both humans and animals and, in a little more detail, the host-parasite relationship in general. This introductory section has been updated to acknowledge that human adult-acquired infections previously thought to be 'asymptomatic may be more complex, albeit only rarely causing severe clinical manifestations. Indeed it also effectively covers what is now known, and what remains to be known, on the potential associations between parasite virulence and the relative roles of parasite strain, host variability including gender, the environment and the potential interactions between each. Prevention and control of infection in general is briefly introduced here. Finally, this opening chapter ends with invaluable details for laboratory techniques - from the cultivation, maintenance and infection routes recommended to the identification of cysts and descriptions of the range and relative advantages of serological tests currently available. The information provided in this chapter alone will thus provide essential reading for researchers setting up new studies, not to mention providing much of the health and safety documentation needed to support them! Chapter 2 then focuses exclusively on toxoplasmosis in humans. As with each subsequent chapter, species by species, the worldwide seroprevalence reports are presented - here across components of the general population between countries as well as specifically relating to antibodies in pregnant women and/or women of child-bearing age. Clinical symptoms in relation to transmission route and/or host immunocompetence status are covered in detail, as are the various treatment options. This section is interspersed with several nice little snippets of information, such as when, for example, the author himself had acquired toxoplasmosis, and regarding the naming of the RH strain after the initials of the 6-old boy from Ohio from which it was originally isolated in 1937. The subsequent chapters 3 to 19 cover toxoplasmosis in the range of studied animal species, from domestic cats and other felids, to that of 'miscellaneous animals' such as the Dik-Dik and Muskox. Each chapter reviews in detail the seroprevalence reports and transmission dynamics, covering, where available, natural and experimental infections. As each chapter within this book is written by the same author who is one of the leaders in this field over much of the last 45 years, the text follows in a consistent and highly readable manner. Almost 1400 key citations are provided, primarily from the 1988 to 2008 literature (notably 166 with J.P. Dubey as first author), which effectively guides the reader to further information where appropriate, and prime areas in need of future research are highlighted. In summary, this new edition of 'Toxoplasmosis of Animals and Humans', very nicely illustrated throughout, often in colour, provides in a single volume a comprehensive and invaluable source of information regarding recent developments and current state-of-the-art in our understanding of Toxoplasma gondii basic biology, transmission, laboratory culture, and potential control. Focal aspects, such as the biology of the parasite and seroprevalence studies across host species are presented in detail, whilst the reader is led to suitable further reading for certain other topics. I have no hesitation in recommending this book highly. Competing interests The author declares that they have no competing interests.

                Author and article information

                Parasit Vectors
                Parasites & Vectors
                BioMed Central
                4 May 2011
                : 4
                : 64
                [1 ]State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Etiological Biology, Key Laboratory of Veterinary Parasitology of Gansu Province, Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute, CAAS, Lanzhou, Gansu Province 730046, PR China
                [2 ]College of Veterinary Medicine, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou, Gansu Province 730070, PR China
                [3 ]College of Veterinary Medicine, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province 510642, PR China
                [4 ]National Institute of Parasitic Diseases, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Laboratory of Parasite and Vector Biology, Ministry of Health, WHO Collaborating Center for Malaria, Schistosomiasis and Filariasis, Shanghai 200025, PR China
                [5 ]College of Animal Science and Technology, Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming, Yunnan Province 650201, PR China
                [6 ]College of Veterinary Medicine, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha, Hunan Province 410128, PR China
                Copyright ©2011 Wu et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.




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