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Toxoplasmosis in Rodents: ecological survey and first evidences in Thailand

Jittapalapong S., Sarataphan N., Maruyama S., Hugot J.P., Morand S., Herbreteau V.. 2011. Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 11 (3) : p. 231-237.

DOI: 10.1089/vbz.2009.0238

Domestic and wild rodents known as the most abundant and diversified order of mammals have a key role in the ecological food chain and also in the transmission of parasites and pathogens to other animals. While foraging on the ground, they can get infected by Toxoplasma gondii, a protozoan parasite, which is the causative agent of toxoplasmosis. Therefore, they serve as intermediate hosts of T. gondii and can transmit it to their predators. To assess their role in the maintenance of T. gondii lifecycle in Thailand, we sampled rodents in a range of biotopes representative of the high biodiversity and conducted a serological survey with latex agglutination test to detect anti-T. gondii antibodies. Overall, 21 of 461 (4.6%) rodents had diagnostically significant antibody titers (cutoff, 1:64). Every species with at least 37 individuals captured tested positive, confirming the wide range of potential mammalian hosts of toxoplasmosis. None of the ecological traits (sex, maturity, morphology, season, or habitat) was found significant to predict the susceptibility to T. gondii both univariately and in a multivariate analysis. However, high prevalences were reported in either forested or anthropized areas. This survey constitutes the first confirmed serological investigation of T. gondii in rodents in Thailand. The rarity of both domestic and wild felids in Thailand emphasizes the importance of rodents in maintaining T. gondii, and questions the involvement of other carnivores in the life cycle.

Mots-clés : toxoplasma gondii; toxoplasmose; rat; rodentia; rongeur; thaïlande; muridae

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