Open Access
Short Note
Issue
Parasite
Volume 24, 2017
Article Number 7
Number of page(s) 3
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/parasite/2017007
Published online 22 February 2017

© H. Luo et al., published by EDP Sciences, 2017

Licence Creative Commons
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Introduction

Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular protozoan parasite that infects a broad range of warm-blooded animals worldwide [4]. Despite the wide distribution of T. gondii, limited information is available on this parasite in wild and domestic animals in China [1]. A study was therefore designed to determine the seroprevalence of T. gondii in zoos and domestic animals in Jiangxi province, China.

Jiangxi province is located in the southeast of China (northern latitudes of 24°29′–30°04′ and eastern longitudes of 113°34′–118°28′). This province has an abundance of domestic and wild animals given its subtropical, humid monsoon climate, with average annual precipitation of 1341–1940 mm.

Materials and methods

Serum samples

Blood samples were collected from 39 zoo animals and randomly selected domestic animals from different farms (Tables 1 and 2). Blood samples were collected from the caudal vein by local veterinary practitioners. After collection, each of the blood samples was centrifuged at 1000 × g for 10 min, and serum was separated and stored at −20 °C until further analysis.

Table 1.

Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in zoo animals determined by indirect hemagglutination in Jiangxi province, China in 2016.

Table 2.

Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in goats, water buffaloes and domestic cattle, determined by indirect hemagglutination (IHA) test in Jiangxi province, China in 2016.

Determination of antibodies against T. gondii

Each of the serum samples was tested for antibodies against T. gondii by employing a commercial indirect hemagglutination test (IHA, Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The test was considered positive when a layer of agglutinated erythrocytes formed in wells using the serum dilutions of 1:64 or higher, and positive and negative controls were included in each test.

Statistical analysis was performed by chi-square testing with SPSS (Statistical Analysis System, Version 18.0). The differences were considered statistically significant when p < 0.05.

Results and discussion

Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 7 out of 39 zoo animals (17.9%) (Table 1). The data for domestic animals are shown in Table 2.

The present study reported a prevalence of 12.1% for T. gondii infection in goats in Jiangxi province, which was in the same range as the prevalence of infection reported in goats (13.4%) in the Hubei and Hunan provinces of China [2, 4], and significantly higher than the prevalence in the northeastern part of the country (8.92%) [5].

The prevalence of T. gondii infection in buffaloes and cattle was 16.8% and 11.4%, respectively, which was lower than the prevalence of T. gondii infection observed in yaks from the same family (21.7% and 29.1% in 2012 and 2013) on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau of China [3]. As more than three million head of cattle are farmed in this province, there is a high risk of transmission to other animals.

Previously, numerous studies were conducted on the seroprevalence of T. gondii in humans. However, limited information is available regarding the seroprevalence of this protozoan in wildlife, especially in zoological gardens in China, with two reports concerning the Shanghai and Beijing zoological gardens [6, 7]. High levels of T. gondii infection are found in felids. Since this protozoan can be shed by felids, this might have contributed to the spread of T. gondii in the zoo. Therefore, the personnel working in the zoo or the people visiting the zoo should be aware of the procedures required to reduce the potential zoonotic threat of T. gondii [7].

The prevalence of T. gondii infection in zoo animals (17.9%) and in domestic buffaloes (16.8%), cattle (11.4%), and goats (10.3%) in Jiangxi province indicates T. gondii exposure in several animal species. Currently, no information is available on clinical toxoplasmosis in animals in this province. Further studies are needed to determine the prevalence of viable T. gondii in cattle and buffalo tissues because these animals are considered resistant to this protozoan [1].

Conflict of interest

None of the authors have any conflict of interest.

Acknowledgments

This study was supported by the Wenzhou City public welfare science and technology plan projects (N20140041).

References

  1. Dubey JP. 2010. Toxoplasmosis of Animal and Humans, 2nd edn. Boca Raton: CRC Press, p. 313. (In the text)
  2. Li F, Wang SP, Wang CJ, He SC, Wu X, Liu GH. 2016. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in goats in Hunan province, China. Parasite, 23, 44. [CrossRef] [EDP Sciences] [PubMed] (In the text)
  3. Li K, Gao JF, Shahzad M, Han ZQ, Nabi F, Liu MY, Zhang D, Li JK. 2014. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in yaks (Bos grunniens) on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau of China. Veterinary Parasitology, 205, 354–356. [CrossRef] [PubMed] (In the text)
  4. Luo HQ, Li K, Zhang H, Wu B, Wang J, Shahzad M, Tu YQ, Song XZ, Sun SW. 2016. Seroepidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum infections in goats in Hubei province, China. Tropical Biomedicine, 33(2), 285–289. (In the text)
  5. Xu P, Li X, Guo L, Li B, Wang J, Yu D, Zhao Q, Liu XG. 2014. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in Liaoning cashmere goat from northeastern China. Parasite, 21, 22. [CrossRef] [EDP Sciences] [PubMed] (In the text)
  6. Zhang JG. 1986. A survey of Toxoplasma gondii infection in wildlife in zoo. Chinese Journal of Veterinary Science and Technology, 16, 21–22. (In the text)
  7. Zhang SY, Wei MX, Zhou ZY, Yu JY, Shi XQ. 2000. Prevalence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in the sera of rare wildlife in the Shanghai Zoological Garden, People’s Republic of China. Parasitology International, 49, 171–174. [CrossRef] [PubMed] (In the text)

Cite this article as: Luo H, Li K, Zhang H, Gan P, Shahzad M, Wu X, Lan Y & Wang J: Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in zoo and domestic animals in Jiangxi Province, China. Parasite, 2017, 24, 7.

All Tables

Table 1.

Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in zoo animals determined by indirect hemagglutination in Jiangxi province, China in 2016.

Table 2.

Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in goats, water buffaloes and domestic cattle, determined by indirect hemagglutination (IHA) test in Jiangxi province, China in 2016.

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