Cross-sectional survey of Toxoplasma gondii infection in colony cats from urban Florence (Italy).

Dipartimento di Patologia Animale, Profilassi ed Igiene degli Alimenti, Viale delle Piagge, 2, Università di Pisa, 56124 Pisa, Italy.
Journal of feline medicine and surgery 10/2009; 12(4):351-4. DOI: 10.1016/j.jfms.2009.09.001
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cats are the key species in the epidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii infection, even if the proportion of subjects excreting oocysts is low. The aim of the present paper was to obtain information about seroprevalence, oocyst shedding rate and presence of T gondii DNA in faeces collected from an urban population of colony cats in Florence (Tuscany). Fifty European shorthair feral cats were examined for anti-T gondii specific antibodies by a modified agglutination test (MAT), and for oocysts by microscopic examination and for faecal protozoal DNA, by means of a nested polymerase chain reaction (n-PCR) protocol. Twenty-two out of 50 serum samples (44%) were MAT positive. T gondii oocysts were not detected in any of the examined faecal samples. Eight out of 50 faecal specimens (16%) were n-PCR positive and sequencing of the bands was specific for T gondii. Detection by combination of the two methods was higher than single techniques and enhanced the detection of T gondii up to 48%. Our results suggest that the use of MAT plus PCR in faeces may be the best choice for diagnosis of feline toxoplasmosis. Further studies to ascertain the real infectivity of the copro-PCR positive subjects are required.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cats, as definitive host, play an important role in the transmission of Toxoplasma gondii. This study aimed to establish the seroprevalence of anti-T. gondii immunoglobulins G and M, and determine the frequency of oocysts in the feces of the domestic cat population in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We also aimed to study the association between T. gondii infection and age, sex, breed, lifestyle, diet and retroviral infection. A total of 108 cats were included in the study and fecal samples of 54 of those cats were obtained. Only 5.6% of the cats were seropositive for anti-T. gondii immunoglobulins using the indirect hemagglutination test. None of the 54 cats presented oocysts in their fecal samples. Although not statistically significant, males, mixed-breed, free-roaming and cats aged two years and older were found to be more exposed. Age, lifestyle and the use of litter boxes were found to play an important role as risk factors. Anemia and retroviral infections were independent of T. gondii infection. No antibodies were detected in the majority of cats (94.4%), indicating that those cats had never been exposed to the parasite and, therefore, once infected, they could present the risk of shedding large numbers of oocysts into the environment.
    Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo 06/2014; 56(3):201-203. · 0.96 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Toxoplasmosis is an important zoonosis worldwide. Here we determined the presence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in sera and T. gondii DNA in feces of 215 domestic cats from veterinary clinics in the Lisbon area; 44 (20.5%) had anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies by the modified agglutination test (cut-off 1:40) and DNA was detected in 16 (35.6%) of 45 cat feces tested. Risk factor analysis indicated increase of seroprevalence with age of the cats. Sera and tissues of 381 pigs from a slaughter house were also tested for T. gondii infection; 27 (7.1%) of the 381 pigs were seropositive. T. gondii DNA was demonstrated in diaphragms and/or brains of seven (35.0%) of 20 anti-T. gondii seropositive pigs tested by the B1 nested-PCR. Results indicate very high prevalence of T. gondii DNA in the feces (oocysts) of definitive hosts and relatively low, but still worrying, seroprevalence of T. gondii antibodies in pigs destined for human consumption.
    Veterinary Parasitology 01/2013; · 2.38 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Albania is a country on the western part of the Balkan Peninsula. The Mediterranean climate is favourable for the stable development of many arthropod species, which are incriminated as vectors for various agents. Recently, several papers have reported on epidemiological aspects of parasitic diseases including vector-borne disease agents of dogs with zoonotic characteristics in Albania. However, data on the epidemiology of feline parasitic and bacterial agents in Albania is scarce. Serum and EDTA-blood samples collected from 146 domestic cats from Tirana during 2008 through 2010 were examined for exposure to Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, Leishmania infantum, and Anaplasma spp. with IFAT, for infection with L. infantum, A. phagocytophilum, Bartonella spp. and haemotropic mycoplasmas with conventional PCR and real-time PCR and for Dirofilaria immitis with antigen ELISA. Additionally blood smear microscopy was carried out for detection of blood-borne pathogens. Antibodies to T. gondii (titre >=1:100) were demonstrated in 91 cats (62.3%). Antibodies to N. caninum (titre >=1:100), L. infantum (titre >=1:64) and Anaplasma spp. (titre >=1:100) were found in the serum of 15 (10.3%), 1 (0.7%) or 3 (2.1%) cats, respectively. DNA of haemotropic mycoplasmas was detected in the blood of 45 cats (30.8%), namely Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum (21.9%), Mycoplasma haemofelis (10.3%), and Candidatus Mycoplasma turicensis (5.5%), with ten cats harbouring co-infections of two mycoplasmas each; blood from one cat was PCR positive for Bartonella henselae. No DNA of Leishmania spp. and A. phagocytophilum or circulating D. immitis antigen was detected in any cat sample. The overall prevalence of haemotropic mycoplasmas was significantly higher in male compared to female cats (40.6% vs. 24.1%, p = 0.0444); and age was associated positively with the prevalence of antibodies to T. gondii (p = 0.0008) and the percentage of haemotropic mycoplasma infection (p = 0.0454). With the broad screening panel including direct and indirect methods applied in the present study, a wide spectrum of exposure to or infection with parasitic or bacterial agents was detected.
    Parasites & Vectors 02/2014; 7(1):62. · 3.25 Impact Factor


Available from
May 21, 2014