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Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in dairy cattle in Southern China

 
Dong-Hui Zhou, Fu-Rong Zhao, Ping Lu, Hui-Yan Xia, Min-Jun Xu, Li-Guo Yuan, Chao Yan, Si-Yang Huang, Shou-Jun Li and Xing-Quan Zhu
  
  
Background


As an obligate intracellular parasite, Toxoplasma gondii can infect humans and almost all warm-blooded animals. The consumption of raw or undercooked beef and milk is considered a risk for T. gondii infection in humans. However, little is known of T. gondii infection in dairy cattle in metropolitan Guangzhou, southern China. This study was performed to determine the seroprevalence of T. gondii in dairy cattle in Guangzhou, southern China.


Findings


Serum samples were collected from 350 dairy cattle on five farms in Guangzhou, China from 2009 to 2010, and all of the 350 serum samples were examined for specific antibodies to T. gondii by indirect hemagglutination antibody test (IHA). The overall seroprevalence of T. gondii in dairy cattle was 5.7% (20/350). Among these examined dairy cattle, dairy cattle which were < 6 year old or ≥ 5 year old had the highest seroprevalence of 12.5% followed by those dairy cattle which were < 5 year old or ≥ 4 year old (8%); dairy cattle with 3 pregnancies had the highest seroprevalence (11.5%), among the examined dairy cattle, although these differences were not statistically significant.


Conclusions


The results of the present survey indicate that T. gondii infection is prevalent in dairy cattle of all age ranges in Guangzhou, southern China, which may be a risk factor for human infection with T. gondii in this region.

 


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Article made possible through the contribution of Dong-Hui Zhou, Fu-Rong Zhao, Ping Lu, Hui-Yan Xia, Min-Jun Xu, Li-Guo Yuan, Chao Yan, Si-Yang Huang, Shou-Jun Li, Xing-Quan Zhu and BioMed Central.

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