Seroprevalence and Risk Factors of Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii in Small Ruminants in Southwest of Iran

Document Type: Original Articles

Authors

1 Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran

2 Department of Laboratory Sciences, Central Veterinary Laboratory, Iranian Veterinary Organization, Hamedan, Iran

3 Department of Food Hygiene and Quality Control, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran

4 Iranian Veterinary Organization, Hamedan, Iran

5 Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

6 Department of Surgery and Diagnostic Imaging, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran

Abstract

Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum are Apicomplexan intracellular protozoa with global distribution. Small ruminants play an important role as intermediate hosts for N. caninum and T. gondii, parasites of great public health concern. The main goal of the current survey was to evaluate N. caninum and T. gondii infection rate in sheep and goats of Khuzestan Province, southwest of Iran, using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).  In this cross-sectional study during February-April 2016, whole blood samples were taken randomly from 735 animals from 37 herds. The animals were reared under the traditional husbandry system in different parts of the province. Among 550 sheep and 185 goats, 37 (6.8%) sheep and 20 (10.8%) goats were seropositive for N. caninum and 59 (10.8%) sheep and 37 (20%) goats were seropositive for T. gondii. The incidence rates of mixed infection with N. caninum and T. gondii were 3.2% and 5.4% in sheep and goats, respectively. Seroprevalence rate of N. caninum was significantly higher in goats at <1 years of age. There was a significant association between the number of sheep infected with T. gondii and abortion (18.2%). Also, a significant correlation was detected between seroprevalence of N. caninum and T. gondii and mixed infection in goats with a history of abortion. This is the first report of IgG antibody production against N. caninumand T. gondii co-infection in small ruminants in Iran. Our findings indicated that neosporosis and toxoplasmosis may be responsible for abortion in small ruminants in this region. Therefore, further investigations are needed to improve sanitary strategies in animals’ husbandry and launching control programs.

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Main Subjects


Article Title [French]

Séroprévalence et Facteurs de Risque de Neospora caninum et de Toxoplasma gondii chez les Petits Ruminants du Sud-ouest de l'Iran

Abstract [French]

Toxoplasma gondii et Neospora caninum sont des protozoaires intracellulaires apicomplexes de répartition mondiale. Les petits ruminants jouent un rôle important en tant qu'hôtes intermédiaires de N. caninum et de T. gondii, parasites extrêmement préoccupants pour la santé publique. L’enquête en cours avait pour objectif principal d’évaluer le taux d’infection par N. caninum et T. gondii chez les moutons et les chèvres de la province du Khuzestan, au sud-ouest de l’Iran, utilisant un dosage immuno-enzymatique (ELISA). Dans cette étude coupe transversale menée entre février et avril 2016, des échantillons de sang total ont été prélevés au hasard chez 735 animaux de 37 troupeaux. Les animaux ont été élevés selon le système d’élevage traditionnel dans différentes parties de la province. Parmi 550 moutons et 185 chèvres, 37 (6,8%) moutons et 20 (10,8%) chèvres étaient séropositives pour N. caninum et 59 (10,8%) moutons et 37 (20%) chèvres étaient séropositives pour T. gondii. Les taux d'incidence des infections mixtes à N. caninum et à T. gondii étaient respectivement de 3,2% et 5,4% chez les moutons et les chèvres.Le taux de séroprévalence de N. caninum était significativement plus élevé chez les chèvres âgés de moins de 1 an. Il y avait une association significative entre le nombre de moutons infectés par T. gondii et l'avortement (18,2%). En outre, une corrélation significative a été détectée entre la séroprévalence de N. caninum et T. gondii et l'infection mixte chez les chèvres ayant des antécédents d'avortement. Il s'agit du premier rapport sur la production d'anticorps IgG contre la co-infection par N. caninum et T. gondii chez de petits ruminants en Iran. Nos résultats ont indiqué que la néosporose et la toxoplasmose pourraient être responsables de l'avortement chez les petits ruminants de cette région. Par conséquent, de nouvelles enquêtes sont nécessaires pour améliorer les stratégies sanitaires dans l’élevage des animaux et le lancement de programmes de contrôle.

Keywords [French]

  • Neospora caninum
  • Toxoplasma gondii
  • Mouton
  • Chèvre
  • Iran
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