Browsing by Subject "Toxoplasmosis"

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  • Kerttula, Anne-Marie; Lavikainen, Antti (2017)
  • Olsen, A.; Berg, R.; Tagel, M.; Must, K.; Deksne, G.; Enemark, H.L.; Alban, L.; Johansen, M.V.; Nielsen, H.V.; Sandberg, M.; Lundén, A.; Stensvold, C.R.; Pires, S.M.; Jokelainen, P. (2019)
    Background: Toxoplasma gondii is an important foodborne zoonotic parasite. Meat of infected animals is presumed to constitute a major source of human infection and may be a driver of geographical variation in the prevalence of anti-T. gondii antibodies in humans, which is substantial in the Nordic-Baltic region in northern Europe. However, data on seroprevalence of T. gondii in different animal species used for human consumption are scattered. Methods: We conducted a systematic review of seroprevalence studies and meta-analysis to estimate the seroprevalence of T. gondii in five animal species that are raised or hunted for human consumption in the Nordic-Baltic region: domestic pigs (Sus scrofa domesticus), sheep (Ovis aries), cattle (Bos taurus), wild boars (Sus scrofa), and moose (Alces alces). We searched for studies that were conducted between January 1990 and June 2018, and reported in articles, theses, conference abstracts and proceedings, and manuscripts. Subgroup analyses were performed to identify variables influencing the seroprevalence. Findings: From a total of 271 studies identified in the systematic review, 32 were included in the meta-analysis. These comprised of 13 studies on domestic pigs, six on sheep, three on cattle, six on wild boars, and four on moose. The estimated pooled seroprevalence of T. gondii was 6% in domestic pigs (CI 95% : 3–10%), 23% in sheep (CI 95% : 12–36%), 7% in cattle (CI 95% : 1–21%), 33% in wild boars (CI 95% : 26–41%), and 16% in moose (CI 95% : 10–23%). High heterogeneity was observed in the seroprevalence data within each species. In all host species except wild boars, the pooled seroprevalence estimates were significantly higher in animals >1 year of age than in younger animals. Not all studies provided information on animal age, sensitivity and specificity of the serological method employed, and the cut-off values used for defining an animal seropositive. Conclusions: A substantial proportion of animals raised or hunted for human consumption in the region had tested positive for T. gondii. This indicates widespread exposure to T. gondii among animals raised or hunted for human consumption in the region. Large variations were observed in the seroprevalence estimates between the studies in the region; however, studies were too few to identify spatial patterns at country-level. © 2019
  • Jokelainen, Pikka; Velström, Kaisa; Lassen, Brian (2015)
    Background: Although the prevalence of human Toxoplasma gondii infections is high in Estonia, no information is available on the prevalence of infections in the local animal populations. Wild boars are a good indicator species for estimating the prevalence and spread of T. gondii and were thus investigated in this nationwide cross-sectional study. Volunteer hunters sampled cardiac or skeletal muscle of 471 wild boars legally hunted for human consumption in Estonia during the hunting season of 2012-2013. Serosanguineous meat juice samples were obtained from thawed tissue samples, diluted 1: 40, and screened for specific anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies with a commercial direct agglutination test. Results: Almost one-quarter (113; 24%) of the wild boars examined were seropositive for T. gondii. The seroprevalence did not differ significantly between age groups or sexes. The seroprevalence was lowest in Viljandimaa, which is located in the southern part of Estonia. In other counties, the infection was evenly prevalent. Conclusions: In Estonia, wild boars are commonly exposed to T. gondii, which is endemic and widespread. The consumption of raw or undercooked meat of Estonian wild boars may pose an infection risk to humans and other hosts.
  • Santoro, Azzurra; Tagel, Maarja; Must, Kart; Laine, Miia; Lassen, Brian; Jokelainen, Pikka (2017)
    Background: Toxoplasma gondii is a widespread occurring parasite infecting warm-blooded animals, including pigs and humans. The aims of this study were to estimate the prevalence of anti-T. gondii antibodies and to evaluate risk factors for T. gondii seropositivity in breeding pigs raised in Estonia. Sera from 382 pigs were tested with a commercial direct agglutination test, using a cut-off titer of 40 for seropositivity, for the presence of anti-T. gondii immunoglobulin G antibodies. Results: Twenty-two (5.8%) of the 382 pigs tested seropositive for T. gondii, and 6 of the 14 herds had at least one seropositive pig. The proportion of seropositive pigs within the herds ranged between 0 and 43%. Gender appeared as a significant factor, with sows having 5.6 times higher odds to be seropositive to T. gondii than boars. Seroprevalence did not increase with age. Conclusions: Anti-T. gondii antibodies were present in a substantial proportion of breeding pig herds in Estonia. On the other hand, the presence of herds without seropositive pigs illustrates that porcine T. gondii infections can be avoided even in a country where the parasite is endemic and common in several other host species.
  • Santoro, Azzurra; Tagel, Maarja; Must, Kärt; Laine, Miia; Lassen, Brian; Jokelainen, Pikka (BioMed Central, 2017)
    Abstract Background Toxoplasma gondii is a widespread occurring parasite infecting warm-blooded animals, including pigs and humans. The aims of this study were to estimate the prevalence of anti-T. gondii antibodies and to evaluate risk factors for T. gondii seropositivity in breeding pigs raised in Estonia. Sera from 382 pigs were tested with a commercial direct agglutination test, using a cut-off titer of 40 for seropositivity, for the presence of anti-T. gondii immunoglobulin G antibodies. Results Twenty-two (5.8%) of the 382 pigs tested seropositive for T. gondii, and 6 of the 14 herds had at least one seropositive pig. The proportion of seropositive pigs within the herds ranged between 0 and 43%. Gender appeared as a significant factor, with sows having 5.6 times higher odds to be seropositive to T. gondii than boars. Seroprevalence did not increase with age. Conclusions Anti-T. gondii antibodies were present in a substantial proportion of breeding pig herds in Estonia. On the other hand, the presence of herds without seropositive pigs illustrates that porcine T. gondii infections can be avoided even in a country where the parasite is endemic and common in several other host species.