In serum samples obtained from all the healthy humans, horses, dogs, and donkeys present on three farms in the Pedreira Municipality, an endemic area for Brazilian spotted fever, an indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) detected antibodies against Rickettsia rickettsii in 17 (77.3%) horses, 5 (31.3%) dogs (titers ranging from 64 to 4,048), and none of 4 donkeys or 50 humans. Five canine and eight equine sera with high antibody titers to R. rickettsii were also tested by IFA against R. bellii, R. akari, and R. africae antigens. Sera from two horses and two dogs that showed similar high antibody titers against two rickettsial antigens were evaluated after cross-absorption. Sera from seven horses and two dogs contained antibodies specific for R. rickettsii, and one dog serum had antibodies against a Rickettsia species very closely related to R. africae. The latter may have been caused by infection with the recently identified COOPERI strain.
Toxoplasma gondii isolates can be grouped into 3 genetic lineages. Type I isolates are considered more virulent in outbred mice and have been isolated predominantly from clinical cases of human toxoplasmosis, whereas types II and III isolates are considered less virulent for mice and are found in humans and food animals. Little is known of genotypes of T. gondii isolates from wild animals. In the present report, genotypes of isolates of T. gondii from wildlife in the United States are described. Sera from wildlife were tested for antibodies to T. gondii with the modified agglutination test, and tissues from animals with titers of 1:25 (seropositive) were bioassayed in mice. Toxoplasma gondii was isolated from the hearts of 21 of 34 seropositive white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) from Mississippi and from 7 of 29 raccoons (Procyon lotor); 5 of 6 bobcats (Lynx rufus); and the gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), and coyote (Canis latrans) from Georgia. Toxoplasma gondii was also isolated from 7 of 10 seropositive black bears (Ursus americanus) from Pennsylvania by bioassay in cats. All 3 genotypes of T. gondii based on the SAG2 locus were circulating among wildlife.
SUMMARYThe present study investigated the infection by spotted fever rickettsia in an endemic area for Brazilian spotted fever (BSF; caused by Rickettsia rickettsii) in Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Human, canine and equine sera samples, and Amblyomma cajennense adult ticks collected in a rural area of Itabira City, Minas Gerais State were tested for rickettsial infection. Through Immunofluorescence Assay (IFA) we demonstrated the presence of antibodies anti-R. rickettsii in 8.2%, 81.3% and 100% of the human, canine and equine sera, respectively. None of the 356 tick specimens analyzed were positive for Rickettsia by the hemolymph test or Polymerase Chain Reaction technique (PCR) for the htrA and the gltA genes. Our serological results on horses and dogs (sentinels for BSF) appoint for the circulation of a SFG Rickettsia in the study area, however in a very low infection rate among the A. cajennense tick population.
The effect of moist heat and several disinfectants on Sarcocystis neurona sporocysts was investigated. Sporocysts (4 million) were suspended in water and heated to 50, 55, 60, 65, and 70 C for various times and were then bioassayed in interferon gamma gene knockout (KO) mice. Sporocysts heated to 50 C for 60 min and 55 C for 5 min were infective to KO mice, whereas sporocysts heated to 55 C for 15 min and 60 C or more for 1 min were rendered noninfective to mice. Treatment with bleach (10, 20, and 100%), 2% chlorhexidine, 1% betadine, 5% o-benzyl-p-chlorophenol, 12.56% phenol, 6% benzyl ammonium chloride, and 10% formalin was not effective in killing sporocysts. Treatment with undiluted ammonium hydroxide (29.5% ammonia) for 1 hr killed sporocysts, but treatment with a 10-fold dilution (2.95% ammonia) for 6 hr did not kill sporocysts. These data indicate that heat treatment is the most effective means of killing S. neurona sporocysts in the horse feed or in the environment.
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