Serological survey of antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii in organic sheep and goat farms in Greece

Published: Nov 24, 2017
Toxoplasma gondii sheep goats organic ELISA Greece

Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic infection with global distribution caused by the protozoon Toxoplasma gondii. The present study is divided into the preliminary and the basic research. In the preliminary research, 413 serum samples (184 sheep and 229 goats) from organic farms of Péloponnèse and Western Sterea Hellas were tested for IgG antibodies against Τ gondii, by using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Blood sampling took place during spring of 2005 and samples were taken from male animals and female that had aborted during the reproductive period of 2004-2005. Significant prevalence of antibodies was the reason that further research of toxoplasmosis in organic farms was conducted. For the basic research, small ruminants' blood samples from organic farms of Péloponnèse, Western Sterea Hellas and the county of Ioannina, were collected during summer of 2006. Blood samples were collected from flocks with cases of abortions during the reproductive period of 2005-2006. Animals were separated into 3 groups: males, females that had abortions during the reproductive period of 2005-2006 and females that did not have abortions during the same period. A total number of 182 sheep sera and 167 goat sera were tested by using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The results showed that antibodies were detected in 38.46% of male sheep, 60.87% of female sheep that had abortions during the reproductive period 2005-2006 and in 54.21% of female sheep that did not have abortions during the same period. Significant difference was determined only between male and female animals (p<0.05). In addition, antibodies were detected in 12.12% of male goats, 14.29% of female goats that had abortions and in 22.35% of female goats that did not have abortions in the reproductive period 2005-2006. There was no significant difference between the results (p>0.05). Seroprevalence in goats was significandy lower than that of the sheep (p<0.05). In animals, aged less than 4 years old, seroprevalence was significantly lower (39.58% for sheep and 13.04% for goats) than that for animals aged more than 4 years old (61.97% for sheep and 24% for goats) (p<0.05). The results of the survey suggest that there is high prevalence of toxoplasmosis both in animals that had aborted and in animals that had not aborted and that there are different species and gender susceptibility. Results also indicate that toxoplasmosis is more common in older animals.

Article Details
  • Section
  • Research Articles
Download data is not yet available.
Bowman DD (1999) Protozoans. In: Georgis' Parasitology for Veterinarians. 7th ed, W.B. Saunders Company,: 96-98.
Buxton D, Rodger SM, Maley SW, Wright SE (2006) Toxoplasmosis: The possibility of vertical transmission. Sm Rum Res, 62:43-46.
Conde M, Molina Caballero JM, Rodriguez-Ponce E, Ruiz A, Gonzalez J (2001) Analysis of IgG response to experimental infection with RH Toxoplasma gondii in goats. Comp Immun Microbiol Infect Pis, 24:197-206.
Diakou A, Papadopoulos E, Panousis N, Giadinis N, Karatzias C (2005a) Prevalence of Toxoplasma Gondii in sheep and goats in mixed stockfarmings. 4th Hellenic Congress in Farm Animals Veterinary Medicine, Thessaloniki, Greece, Book of abstracts pg 98.
Diakou A, Papadopoulos E, Panousis N, Giadinis N, Karatzias C (2005b) Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora spp. infection in sheep and goats mixed stock farming. 6th International Sheep Veterinary Congress, Hersonissos, Crete, Greece, Proceedings pg 170.
Dubey JP (1989) Lesions in goats fed Toxoplasma gondii oocysts. Vet Parasitol, 32:133-144.
Dubey JP (2002) A review of toxoplasmosis in wild birds. Vet Parasitol, 106:121-153.
Dubey JP, Zarnke R, Thomas NJ, Wong SK, Van Bonn W, Briggs M, Davis JW, Ewing R, Mense M, Kwok OCH, Romand S, Thulliez Ρ (2003) Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, Sarcocystis
neurona and Sarcocystis canis-like infections in marine mammals. Vet Parasitol, 116:275-296.
Duncanson P, Terry RS, Smith JE, Hide G (2001) High levels of congenital transmission of Toxoplasma gondii in commercial sheep flock. Int J Parasitol, 31:1699-1703.
Esteban-Redondo I, Innés EA (1997) Toxoplasma gondii infection in sheep and cattle. Comp Immun Microbiol Infect Pis, 20 (No 2):191-196.
Esteban-Redondo I, Maley SW, Thomson K, Nicoli S, Wright S, Buxton D, Innes EA (1999) Detection of T. gondii in tissues of sheep and cattle following oral infection. Vet Parasitol, 86:155-171.
Greek Ministry of Agriculture (2004)
Haralabidis STh (1984) The immunodiagnosis of the parasitic diseases and the immunoenzyme assay ELISA. Monography. Scientific Yearbook of the Veterinary Faculty of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 22:75-253.
Haralabidis STh (1987) Seroepidemiology of parasitic diseases of sheep and goats by means of ELISA. Bull Hell Vet Med Soc, 38:215-223.
Haralabidis STh (1995) Toxoplasma. In: Protozoology. 1st ed, University Studio Press, Thessaloniki,:72-76.
Innes EA (1997) Toxoplasmosis: Comparative species susceptibility and host immune response. Comp Immun Microbiol Effect Dis, 20 (No 2):131-138.
Jubb KVF, Kennedy PC, Palmer Ν (1993) The Female Genital System. In: Pathology of domestic animals. Vol.3, 4th ed, Academic Press, Ine, USA,:421-423.
Kaufmann J (1996) Parasites of sheep and goats. In: Parasitic infections of domestic animals. 1st ed, Birkhauser,:176.
Kontos V, Boutsini S, Haralabidis S, Diakou A, Athanasiou L, Magana Ο, Nomikou Κ (2001) Ovine Toxoplasmosis. An Epizootiological Research. 3rd Hellenic Symposium in Farm Veterinary Medicine, Thessaloniki, Greece, Book of abstracts pp 81.
Martinez-Garcia F, Regadera J, Mayer R, Sanchez S, Nistal M (1996) Protozoan infections in the male genital track. J Urol, 156:340-349.
Mikaelian I, Boisclair J, Dubey JP, Kennedy S, Martineau D (2000) Toxoplasmosis in Beluga Whales (Delphinapterus leucas) from the St Lawrence Estuary: Two case reports and a serological
survey. J Comp Path, 122:73-76.
Powell CC, Brewer M, Lappin MR (2001) Detection of Toxoplasma gondii in the milk of experimentally infected lactating cats. Vet Parasitol, 102:29-33.
Roberts CW, Cruickshank SM, Alexander J (1995) Sex-determined resistance to Toxoplasma gondii is associated with temporal differences in cytokine production. Infect Immun, 63 (No 7):
Roberts CW, Walker W, Alexander J (2001) Sex-associated hormones and immunity to protozoan parasites. Clin Microbiol Rev, 14 (No 3):476-488.
Stefanakis A, Bizaki A, Krampovitis E (1995) Seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis in the sheep and goats of Crete. Bull Hell Vet Med Soc, 46 (4):243-249.
Tenter AM, Heckeroth AR, Weiss LM (2000) Toxoplasma gondii: from animals to humans. Int J Parasitol, 30: 1217-1258.
Urquhart GM, Armour J, Dunkan JL, Dunn AM, Jennings FW (1996) Veterinary Protozoology. In: Veterinary Parasitology. 2nd ed, Blackwell Science Ltd,:96-98.
Van der Puije WNA, Bosompem KM, Canacoo EA, Wastling JM, Acanmori BD (2000) The prevalence of anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in Ghanaian sheep and goats. Acta Trop, 76:21-26.
Walker W, Roberts CW, Ferguson DJP, Jebbari H, Alexander J (1997) Innate immunity to Toxoplasma gondii is influenced by gender and is associated with differences in Interleukin-12 and Gamma Interferon production. Infect Immun, 65 (No 3): 1119-1121.
Most read articles by the same author(s)