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Prevalence and co-infection of Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum in Apodemus sylvaticus in an area relatively free of cats

Thomasson, D, Wright, EA, Hughes, JM, Dodd, NS, Cox, AP, Boyce, K, Gerwash, O, Abushahma, M, Lun, ZR, Murphy, RG, Rogan, MT and Hide, G 2011, 'Prevalence and co-infection of Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum in Apodemus sylvaticus in an area relatively free of cats' , Parasitology, 138 (09) , pp. 1117-1123.

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Abstract

The protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii is prevalent worldwide and can infect a remarkably wide range of hosts despite felids being the only definitive host. As cats play a major role in transmission to secondary mammalian hosts, the interaction between cats and these hosts should be a major factor determining final prevalence in the secondary host. This study investigates the prevalence of T. gondii in a natural population of Apodemus sylvaticus collected from an area with low cat density (<2·5 cats/km2). A surprisingly high prevalence of 40·78% (95% CI: 34·07%–47·79%) was observed despite this. A comparable level of prevalence was observed in a previously published study using the same approaches where a prevalence of 59% (95% CI: 50·13%–67·87%) was observed in a natural population of Mus domesticus from an area with high cat density (>500 cats/km2). Detection of infected foetuses frompregnant dams in both populations suggests that congenital transmission may enable persistence of infection in the absence of cats. The prevalences of the related parasite, Neospora caninum were found to be low in both populations (A. sylvaticus: 3·39% (95% CI: 0·12%–6·66%); M. domesticus: 3·08% (95% CI: 0·11%–6·05%)). These results suggest that cat density may have a lower than expected effect on final prevalence in these ecosystems.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Biomedical Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Parasitology
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0031-1820
Depositing User: Users 29196 not found.
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2011 14:16
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2014 12:18
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/19241

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