Serological determination of Toxoplasma gondii in sheep (Ovis aries) in Gilan province, North of Iran

Document Type: Original Articles

Authors

1 Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran,Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Garmsar branch, Islamic Azad university, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most common meat born protozoan parasites that cause congenital infection, abortion, and stillbirth in humans and animals. sheep are one of the important sources of meat production in Gilan Province. Therefore, consumption of raw and half-cooked meat is one of the major risk factors for T. gondii infection .Toxoplasmosis in patients with intact immune systems is usually asymptomatic, but can be life-threatening in patients with a weak immune system; for example, patients with HIV/AIDS or cancer, and transplant recipients. Gilan is divided into three regions of plains with moderate climatic conditions, hillsides with semi-humid climates, and heights with cold mountainous weather .Climate situations are involved in the prevalence of toxoplasmosis. The present study aimed to investigate the seroprevalence of T. gondii infection in sheep in Gilan Province, North of Iran. In a current cross-sectional study, 400 sheep sera samples were tested for T. gondii-IgG antibody by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay technique (ELISA). The samples were divided into different groups according to the geographical location and animal ages. T. gondii-IgG antibody was detected in 166 sheep (41.5%). The highest frequency (72.7%, n=56) was observed in the age group of >4 years, which the difference was statistically significant (P = 0.0001) in comparison with other groups. Also, the seroprevalence of T. gondii was significantly higher in plains (53.9%) than those of hillsides and heights (P = 0.0001). consequently The seroprevalence of T. gondii infection in Gilan Province is high, indicating a significant relationship with geographical location and age of animals.

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