This study genetically Toxoplasma gondii isolates obtained from pigs intended for human consumption in northeastern Brazil; multilocus PCR-RFLP and sequencing techniques were utilized. Bioassays were conducted using the brain and tongue of 20 pig heads purchased at butcher shops in the city of Ilheus, Bahia, Brazil. Overall, 11 T. gondii isolates designated TgPgBr06-16 were identified. Application of multilocus PCR-RFLP with seven molecular markers (SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, C22-8, PK1 and Apico) identified six different genotypes. Isolates TgPgBr 06, 08, 11, 12, 14 and 15 were indistinguishable by this technique, forming a single genotype; the remaining isolates were characterized as distinct genotypes. However, when five genetic markers (SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB and c22-8) were employed in multilocus PCR-sequencing, all eleven strains of T. gondii were shown to be different. All isolates differed from Type I, II and III clonal genotypes using both genotyping techniques. These results demonstrate that the multilocus PCR-RFLP assay underestimated the true diversity of the T. gondii population in this study. Thus, DNA sequencing is the preferred technique to infer the genetic diversity and population structure of T. gondii strains from Brazil. Moreover, it is necessary to develop new molecular markers to group and characterize atypical T. gondii isolates from South America.
ABSTRACT. The objective of this study was to verify whether Toxoplasma gondii is excreted in the milk of naturally infected sheep. In order to accomplish this, 275 lactating ewes were used; these were bred extensively in 17 estates distributed across nine cities. Polymerase chain reaction amplification was used to detect T. gondii DNA in milk samples, and the indirect immunofluorescence test was employed for the detection of anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies in the sera, with a cut-off value of 1:64. It was possible to verify the presence of the parasite DNA in 6.5% (18/275) of the studied animals. Anti-T. gondii antibodies were present in 41.5% of the animals studied (114/275). There was no correlation between parasite excretion in milk and the presence of IgG in 38.9% of the studied animals (7/18). The high seropositivity and the presence of parasite DNA in the milk led to the conclusion that T. gondii infection is present in the sheep population in southern and southwestern Bahia, and that there is a risk of the human population becoming infected due to the consumption of raw, in natura milk.
This study aimed to compare the sensitivity of five diagnostic methods commonly used for the detection of Toxoplasma gondii in tissues of naturally infected pigs. We purchased 20 heads of pigs in butcher shops in the city of Ilhéus, Bahia. Brain and tongue fragments were taken from each animal for the performance of PCR against T. gondii. The rest of these two tissues were processed and inoculated into three mice. These rodents were observed for 42 days and euthanized. We prepared slides with brain and lungs of each mouse for the visualization of T. gondii. From the tissues of mice, we carried out polymerase chain reaction (PCR), histopathology, and immunohistochemistry in an attempt to identify the parasite. The PCR direct from the tissue of pigs showed 10% (2/20) of positive samples, all from the brain. PCR in tissue from mice found that 55% (11/20) of pigs were positive: 55% (11/20) and 45% (9/20) for brains and tongues, respectively. Mice were inoculated with material obtained from the samples and examined by various methods for resulting Toxoplasma infection (bioassay). Cyst detection in bioassay mice identified 25% (5/20) and immunohistochemistry 30% (6/20) of the samples pigs as positive for T. gondii. Histopathology of mice tissue could not detect parasite; only suggestive pathological changes such as inflammation with foci of necrosis were seen. The results indicated PCR of mice tissue as the most sensitive among those tested.
In this study, we aimed to determine the prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies and identify risk factors associated with this infection in sheep from the southern region of Bahia state. Between February and December 2010, 795 sheep from 31 farms located in nine municipalities were tested. We found seroprevalence of 30.2% (240/795), with titers of 64 (38.3%), 256 (34.2%), 1,024 (18.3%), and 4,096 (9.2%) by Indirect Fluorescent Antibody Test (IFAT). Seropositive sheep were detected in all farms sampled. Univariate statistical analysis detected association between T. gondii seropositivity and the variables age, use of fresh food mainly, water source, stocking rate, production system, presence and number of cats on the farm, and transit of cats (p < 0.05). In the logistic regression model, transit of cats (p = 0.001), production system (p = 0.007), and age (p = 0.027) were identified as risk factors associated with T. gondii infection.Keywords: Epidemiology, ovine, toxoplasmosis, zoonosis, risk factors. ResumoObjetivou-se com este estudo determinar a prevalência de anticorpos anti-Toxoplasma gondii e identificar os fatores de risco associados à infecção em ovinos no sudeste do Estado da Bahia. De fevereiro a dezembro de 2010, 795 ovinos de 31 propriedades localizadas em nove municípios foram analisados. A soroprevalência foi de 30,2% (240/795), com títulos de 64 (38,3%), 256 (34,2%), 1.024 (18,3%) e 4.096 (9,2%) pela Reação de Imunoflorescência Indireta (RIFI). Ovinos positivos foram detectados em todas as fazendas estudadas. Na análise estatística univariada detectou-se associação entre a soropositividade e idade, uso de alimentação fresca, fonte de água, sistema de produção, presença e número de gatos na fazenda e o transito de gatos (p < 0,05). No modelo de regressão logística, transito de gatos (p = 0,001), sistema de produção (p = 0,007) e idade (p = 0,027) foram identificados como fatores de risco associados à infecção por T. gondii.
Strains of Toxoplasma gondii in Brazil are highly genetically diverse compared to strains from North America and Europe. Dogs are epidemiologically important because they act as sentinels for T. gondii infections in humans and are good indicators of environmental contamination. The aim of this study was to isolate and genetically characterize T. gondii strains from tissues of naturally infected Brazilian dogs. For this study, 21 blood samples were collected from dogs at the Zoonosis Control Centers of Ilhéus and Itabuna cities, Bahia, Brazil. The sera were examined for T. gondii antibodies using the indirect hemagglutination test. Brains and hearts of seropositive dogs were bioassayed in mice to isolate and characterize T. gondii parasites by PCR-RFLP using 10 genetic markers (SAG1, newSAG2, SAG3, BTUB, c22-8, c29-2, GRA6, PK1, APICO, and L358). However, T. gondii was isolated from only 4 (57.1%) dogs, designated TgDgBr6, 13, 17, and 21. All strains were virulent, causing clinical changes (rough hair coat, lethargy, and abdominal distention) and the death of all mice within 8–20 days after inoculation. Genetic analysis of these 4 T. gondii isolates revealed 4 distinct genotypes with different clonal lineage combinations (types I, II, and III) and 2 atypical alleles. Using PCR-RFLP with several markers, this study contributes to evaluations of the genetic diversity of strains circulating in Brazil.
The genotyping of 25 isolates of Toxoplasma gondii from free-range chickens in the state of Bahia, Brazil, was performed by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism using 11 genetic markers: SAG1, 5'+3'SAG2, alt.SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, Apico, and CS3. The analysis revealed 8 genotypes, 3 of which had not been previously reported. Four genotypes were represented by single isolates, whereas the other genotypes were represented by 2 or more isolates. Five isolates showed mixed infections, and 2 of them were identical. None of the clonal types I, II, or III were found, but 2 isolates corresponded to the Brazilian clonal lineage BrIII. There was a single allele for the c22-8 marker. The CS3 marker demonstrated efficiency in the evaluation of virulence in mice. This study reaffirms the diverse genetic variability of T. gondii in Brazil.
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and factors associated with the occurrence of antibodies against Neospora caninum in sheep from Sergipe, northeastern Brazil. A total of 932 sheep serum samples from 54 properties in 19 municipalities from the State of Sergipe, Brazil were collected and assayed using an indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) to assess antibodies against N. caninum. A cutoff point of 1:50 was adopted and results showed that 12.45% (116/932) of sheep were serum-reactive. Based on an unconditional logistic regression, the presence of dogs on the property was associated with protection (OR= 0.323), whereas the use of exchanged or borrowed breeding males was associated with infection (OR= 22.287). These results indicate that the occurrence of antibodies against N. caninum is endemic in the State municipalities.
In this study, 20 blood, heart, and brain samples were collected from euthanized cats at the Zoonosis Control Centers and Veterinary Clinics in the state of Bahia, Brazil. The sera were examined for anti-T. gondii antibodies using the indirect hemagglutination test. The brains and hearts of seven seropositive cats were ground, and peptide digestion was performed for bioassay in mice. Toxoplasma gondii was isolated in 5/7 (71.42%) of seropositive cats. In these isolates, the parasite was genotyped using the Polymerase chain reaction, associated with the DNA fragment polymorphism obtained by restriction enzyme PCR-RFLP technique with 11 markers (SAG1, 5’-SAG2, 3’-SAG2, alt. SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, Apico, and CS3) and 15 microsatellite markers (TUB-2, W35, TgM-A, B18, B17, M33, IV.1, XI.1, M48, M102, N60, N82, AA, N61, N83). The analysis of the isolates by PCR-RFLP revealed five distinct genotypes. Three of these genotypes have never been reported before; one corresponded to the TgDgCo13 genotype, and one incomplete genotype. In genotyping analysis using microsatellite markers, it was observed that the isolates showed atypical alleles in the typing and fingerprint markers. This revealed five atypical genotypes. The typing marker B17 showed the highest degree of atypia. This study is the first to report the genotyping of T. gondii obtained from naturally infected cats in Bahia, Northeast Brazil. The genotypes found in this study were different from those found in other studies conducted in Bahia, which included different species of animals. None of the clonal lineages I, II, or III were found. This study demonstrates the diversity of T. gondii in the study region, with the presence of unusual genotypes, reaffirming the genetic variability of the parasite in Brazil.
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