Title: Prevalence of antibodies to Leishmania infantum and Toxoplasma gondii in horses from the north of Portugal
Authors: Lopes AP, Sousa S, Dubey J, Ribeiro AJ, Silvestre R, Cotovio M, Schallig HD, Cardoso L, Cordeiro-da-Silva A
Journal: Parasit Vector
Accepted date: 2013 Jun 1
Interpretive summary: Toxoplasma gondii is a single-celled parasite of all warm-blooded hosts worldwide. It causes mental retardation and loss of vision in children, and abortion in livestock. Cats are the main reservoir of T. gondii because they are the only hosts that can excrete the resistant stage (oocyst) of the parasite in the feces. Humans become infected by eating under cooked meat from infected animals and food and water contaminated with oocysts. Leishmania sp. Is another parasite of zoonotic importance. In the present study,prevalences of antibodies to these agents were assessed in 173 horses from the north of Portugal. Antibodies to L. infantum were detected by the direct agglutination test (DAT); seven (4.0%) horses were seropositive. Antibodies to T. gondii were assayed by the modified agglutination test (MAT); 23 horses were seropositive. The presence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in nearly 15% of surveyed horses raises significant food safety concerns given the evidence that horse meat, by both overt and covert means, enters the human food supply. These findings are of interest to veterinarians and parasitologisyts.
Publication date: 2013 Jun 17