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; 196(3-4). DOI:10.1016/j.vetpar.2013.03.001 · 2.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Abstract Australian marsupials are thought to be particularly vulnerable to pathologic impacts of Toxoplasma gondii, and they may be similarly affected by Neospora caninum. Pathology due to either organism could be expressed as reduced female reproductive performance. We studied adult female western grey kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus ocydromus) from suburban Perth, Western Australia, between May 2006 and October 2008. We used indirect fluorescent antibody tests to look for evidence of exposure to T. gondii and N. caninum in M. fuliginosus ocydromus and tested the association between their reproductive performance and a positive test result. Although 20% of plasma samples collected from 102 female kangaroos were positive for T. gondii and 18% were positive for N. caninum, we found no association between positive results and reproductive performance. Further study will be required to clarify if, and under what circumstances, T. gondii and N. caninum are pathogenic to macropod marsupials.Journal of wildlife diseases 02/2014; 50(2). DOI:10.7589/2013-03-064 · 1.31 Impact Factor