Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité. Mais tu ne dois pas l'oublier, dit le renard. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
Le Petit Prince, chap. 21

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Feral cats in Mallorca: a major reservoir of toxoplasmosis

Millán, J., Cabezón, O., Pabón, M., Dubey, J. P., & Almería, S. (2009). Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum in feral cats (Felis silvestris catus) in Majorca, Balearic Islands, Spain.Veterinary parasitology, 165(3), 323-326.

Felids are important in the epidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii infection because they are the only hosts that can excrete environmentally-resistant oocysts, and there is little information of infections in truly free-living cats (Felis silvestris catus) because these cats are difficult to catch. These cats have no specific owner, are not subject of vaccination programs and do not receive prophylactic or curative treatments against parasites.

Antibodies to T. gondii assayed by the modified agglutination test (MAT) were found in 50 (84.7%) of 59 cats with a majority of cats having high MAT titers (>1:500 in 45 cats). Seroprevalence (MAT, 1:25 or more) was significantly higher in adults (94.6%) than in juveniles (<6 month old; 40.0%). Seroprevalence to N. caninum, assayed by cELISA (VMRD) and confirmed by an indirect fluorescent antibody test, was low (6.8%, 4 of 59). The prevalence of T. gondii observed in wild cats in Majorca is one of the highest reported worldwide in this species and the highest observed in Europe to date. The results suggest that feral cats in Majorca have a high rate of T. gondii infection with important implications for public health on the island since the seropositive cats are likely to have already shed T. gondii oocysts in the environment.

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