Toxoplasma Infection in Farm Animals: A Seroepidemiological Survey in Fars Province, South of Iran

Toxoplasma gondii is a worldwide parasite which infects animals and human. Infections with this zoonotic parasite are acquired mostly by consumption of undercooked or raw meat, which contains tissue cysts. Objectives: The current study was conducted to determine the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma infection in farm animals in southern Iran. Materials and Methods: Sera were obtained from 346 farm animals including 80 cows, 33 dogs, 35 horses, 95 sheep, 90 goats, 9 turkeys and 4 geese and evaluated by Modified Agglutination Test (MAT) to detect anti-Toxop/asma antibodies. Results: Anti-Toxoplasma antibodies were detected in sera of 121 out of 346 (34.9%) animals. The highest rate of infection (55%) was found in the cattle, followed by dogs (51.5%), horses (40%), sheep (29.5%), goats (18.8%) and turkeys (11.1%). No antibody was detected in any sera of 4 geese. Most of animals (86%) had antibody titer of 120. Males consisted 34.3% and females 40% of seropositive animals but the difference was not statistically significant (P > 0.05). Correlation between age of animals and Toxoplasma infection was also insignificant (P > 0.05). Conclusions: High seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis observed in this region indicates that farm animals may play a major role in transmitting the infection to human through consumption of undercooked meats. Keywords: Toxoplasma gondii; Farm animal; seroprevalence; Iran. Copyright 2013, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences; Published by Kowsar Corp.

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