Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease with worldwide distribution and a major public health problem. In Algeria, human toxoplasmosis is screened in pregnant women and immunosuppressed persons; however, no information is available on the animal infection and a probable implication of the parasite in abortions occurring in the field. This sero-epidemiological cross-type survey on toxoplasmosis in cattle (332), sheep (276) and goats (106) revealed the presence of anti-Toxoplasma antibodies based on the indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT), at the respective rates of 3.92, 11.59 and 13.21%. The likelihood of acquiring Toxoplasma gondii infection was higher in sheep and goats (OR=3.22, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.65-6.27 and OR= 3.73, [CI]: 1.69-8.24 respectively) than in cattle (p<0.001). However, the difference between sheep and goats is not significant. At herd level, 5 herds out of 41 (12.19%), 11 herds out of 19 (57.89%) and 4 herds out of 6 (66.66%) showed at least one seropositive case in cattle, sheep and goat herds, respectively. Statistical comparison between genders and age groups showed no significant difference in the three species. The highest serological titers obtained are 1:64, 1:2048 and 1:4096 for cattle, sheep and goats, respectively. Suspicion of the parasite's role in abortions has been investigated, the seroprevalence showed no significant difference between abortive and non abortive females for cattle and goats; however, it was significantly higher in ewes that have not aborted as compared to those having abortions, a high suspicion was done for one abortive ewe whose antibody titer reached 1:1024. The presence of anti-Toxoplasma antibodies has been highlighted for the first time in livestock in Algeria, indicating a contamination with the parasite.
Key words: Toxoplasma gondii, seroprevalence, cattle, sheep, goats, abortion, Algeria.
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