Toxoplasmosis in captive Bennett's wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus) in Argentina.
ABSTRACT Wallabies and other Australian marsupials are among the most susceptible species to Toxoplasma gondii. Fatal generalized toxoplasmosis was diagnosed in two captive 3 year-old female Bennett's wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus) from Argentina (w 1 and w 2) with a history of sudden death. Both animals had internal joeys which died 2 days after their mothers. Serologically, both females and one adult male without clinical signs from the same enclosure (w 3) had antibody titers for T. gondii>or=800 by the modified agglutination test (MAT); another adult male (w 4) was negative (MAT titer<25). Microscopically, tachyzoites were observed associated to non-suppurative meningoencephalitis, hepatitis, myositis, myocarditis and severe enteritis in hematoxylin and eosin stained sections from both w 1 and w 2. Immunohistochemically, parasites in heart, brain and liver sections of both female wallabies reacted with T. gondii antiserum. T. gondii was isolated from brain tissues of w 1 and w 2 by bioassay in mice and by culture in bovine monocytes and both isolates were cryopreserved. Genomic DNA was isolated from tachyzoites grown in cultures derived from both animals. The primer pair B22/B23 specific for T. gondii produced 115bp amplicons on poliacrylamide electrophoretic gels. Stray cats were suspected as the possible source of infection. Not all infected macropods were ill, showing that the infection may be asymptomatic and is not always fatal. A vertical infection could not be proved in the joey from w 2. As far as we know, this is the first confirmed report of toxoplasmosis in Bennet's wallabies in Argentina.
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ABSTRACT: Toxoplasmosis is often fatal in captive wallabies, but the causes of this high susceptibility are not well understood. Here, we report fatal toxoplasmosis in a Bennet's wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus) due to an atypical Toxoplasma gondii strain for the first time in Europe. The wallaby was from a colony of 7 Bennet's wallabies that died over a 17-month period at a safari-zoological park in northeastern Spain. Only one of these wallabies was examined at necropsy. T. gondii-like organisms were detected by histological examination in several tissues and the diagnosis was confirmed through detection of T. gondii DNA by PCR. A nested PCR-based assay detected the 200- to 300-fold repetitive 529bp DNA fragment of T. gondii in a sample of brain tissue. Genotyping analysis with 15 single-copy microsatellite markers was performed on this positive DNA sample and revealed an atypical genotype. Atypical genotypes are frequently associated with severe forms of toxoplasmosis in humans. The present report highlights the possible implications of the introduction of new atypical, more pathogenic T. gondii strains, to non-endemic areas.Veterinary Parasitology 03/2013; · 2.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Llamas (Lama glama) are South American camelids described as intermediate hosts of Neospora caninum, Toxoplasma gondii and Sarcocystis aucheniae. Due to the potential role of these protozoan infections as a cause of economic losses, the aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence for T. gondii, N. caninum and Sarcocystis sp. in llamas from Argentina. Serum samples from 308 llamas (>2 years old) were collected between 2005 and 2007. A total of 55 farms located in six departments of Jujuy province, Argentina were sampled. Presence of antibodies to N. caninum, T. gondii and Sarcocystis sp. was determined by the indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT). For Sarcocystis, 2 different bradyzoites-based antigens were prepared using S. aucheniae and S. cruzi. Sera were tested at dilutions 1:25 and 1:50. Antibodies to N. caninum were found in 4.6% serum samples. Fifty percent of departments and 14.5% of farms had positive animals. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 30% of samples, distributed in 66% of departments and 43.6% of farms. Antibodies to Sarcocystis sp. were detected in 96% of samples and all departments and farms had positive animals, suggesting frequent contact between llamas and canids. Co-infection with N. caninum, T. gondii and Sarcocystis sp. was also recorded. Low seroprevalence of N. caninum in llamas detected in this study could be related to climatic and geographical conditions that limit cattle breeding activity, reducing the source of infection for definitive hosts. Seroprevalence of T. gondii and the positive animal distribution suggest frequent contamination of grass with felid faeces. In conclusion, this is the first report of combined seroprevalence for N. caninum, T. gondii and Sarcocystis sp. in llamas. Further studies are needed to determine the potential role of these protozoan infections as cause of abortion in Argentina as well as presence of these protozoans in llama meat used for human consumption.Veterinary Parasitology 08/2008; 155(1-2):158-60. · 2.38 Impact Factor