Toxoplasma gondii : prevalence in species and genotypes of British bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus and P. pygmaeus)

Dodd, NS, Lord, JS, Jehle, R ORCID:, Parker, S, Parker, F, Brooks, DR and Hide, G ORCID: 2014, 'Toxoplasma gondii : prevalence in species and genotypes of British bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus and P. pygmaeus)' , Experimental Parasitology, 139 , pp. 6-11.

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Access Information: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in journal Experimental Parasitology . Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Experimental Parasitology Volume 139, April 2014, Pages 6–11.


Few studies have investigated Toxoplasma gondii infections in bat populations and none have reported its presence in protected British bat species. Using a collection of dead/euthanased bats collected from Lancashire, UK, two species of bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus and Pipistrellus pygmaeus) were tested using a highly sensitive SAG1-PCR method specific for detection of T. gondii DNA (n = 77; 71 P. pipistrellus and 6 P. pygmaeus). Whilst some potential bias may exist in the sampling strategy, an overall prevalence of 10.39% (±6.06%; 95%CI) was detected. All P. pipistrellus, were also genotyped using eleven polymorphic microsatellite loci to determine their local population structure. The programme STRUCTURE revealed that the majority of individuals (83%) were derived from one interbreeding population, and the remaining individuals (17%) had mixed genetic origins. There was no significant difference in the frequency of T. gondii infection or geographical distribution between subclusters. As all British bats are insectivorous, the routes of infection with T. gondii remain elusive. However, the locally large and panmictic gene pool suggests that intraspecies transmission could be applicable.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Health and Wellbeing
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Biomedical Research Centre
Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Experimental Parasitology
Publisher: Elsevier
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0014-4894
Related URLs:
Funders: British Society for Parasitology, University of Salford
Depositing User: Professor Geoff Hide
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2015 14:23
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 18:53

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