Toxoplasmosis in geese and detection of two new atypical Toxoplasma gondii strains from naturally infected Canada geese (Branta canadensis)
- 311 Downloads
Wild birds are important in the epidemiology of toxoplasmosis because they can serve as reservoir hosts, and vectors of zoonotic pathogens including Toxoplasma gondii. Canada goose (Branta canadensis) is the most widespread geese in North America. Little is known concerning T. gondii infection in both migratory, and local resident populations of Canada geese. Here, we evaluated the seroprevalence, isolation, and genetic characterization of viable T. gondii isolates from a migratory population of Canada geese. Antibodies against T. gondii were detected in 12 of 169 Canada geese using the modified agglutination test (MAT, cutoff 1:25). The hearts of 12 seropositive geese were bioassayed in mice for isolation of T. gondii. Viable parasites were isolated from eight. One isolate was obtained from a seropositive goose by both bioassays in mice, and in a cat; the cat fed infected heart excreted T. gondii oocysts. Additionally, one isolate was obtained from a pool of four seronegative (<1:25) geese by bioassay in a cat. The T. gondii isolates were further propagated in cell culture, and DNA extracted from cell culture-derived tachyzoites were characterized using 10 polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) genetic markers (SAG1, 5′ and 3′SAG2, alt.SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico). The results revealed five different genotypes. ToxoDB PCR-RFLP genotype #1 (type II) in one isolate, genotype #2 (type III) in four isolates, genotype #4 in two isolates, and two new genotypes (ToxoDB PCR-RFLP genotype #266 in one isolate and #267 in one isolate) were identified. These results indicate genetic diversity of T. gondii strains in the Canada geese, and this migratory bird might provide a mechanism of T. gondii transmission at great distances from where an infection was acquired.
KeywordsCanada geese Toxoplasma gondii Bioassay Genotype
We would like to thank Jamie Houchens, Stewart Kerr, Jason Evans, and Clifton Thomas for their help in procuring the geese.
Compliance with ethical standards
All investigations reported here were approved by the institutional animal care and use protocol committee of the US Department of Agriculture.
- Dolbeer RA, Seubert JL, Begier MJ (2014) Population trends of resident and migratory Canada geese in relation to strikes with civil aircraft. Hum-Wildl Interact 8:88–99Google Scholar
- Dubey JP (2010) Toxoplasmosis of animals and humans, 2nd edn. CRC, Boca Raton, pp 1–313Google Scholar
- Dubey JP, Parnell PG, Sreekumar C, Vianna MCB, de Young RW, Dahl E, Lehmann T (2004) Biologic and molecular characteristics of Toxoplasma gondii isolates from striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), Canada goose (Branta canadensis), black-winged lory (Eos cyanogenia), and cats (Felis catus). J Parasitol 90:1171–1174CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Dubey JP, Webb DM, Sundar N, Velmurugan GV, Bandini LA, Kwok OCH, Su C (2007) Endemic avian toxoplasmosis on a farm in Illinois: clinical disease, diagnosis, biologic and genetic characteristics of Toxoplasma gondii isolates from chickens (Gallus domesticus), and a goose (Anser anser). Vet Parasitol 148:207–212CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Dubey JP, Van Why K, Verma SK, Choudhary S, Kwok OCH, Khan A, Behinke MS, Sibley LD, Ferreira LR, Oliveira S, Weaver M, Stewart R, Su C (2014) Genotyping Toxoplasma gondii from wildlife in Pennsylvania and identification of natural recombinants virulent to mice. Vet Parasitol 200:74–84CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Dubey JP, Laurin E, Kwowk OC (2016) Validation of the modified agglutination test for the detection of Toxoplasma gondii in free-range chickens by using cat and mouse bioassay. Parasitology. doi: 10.1017/S0031182015001316
- Maksimov P, Buschtöns S, Herrmann DC, Conraths FJ, Görlich K, Tenter AM, Dubey JP, Nagel-Kohl U, Thoms B, Bötcher L, Kühne M, Schares G (2011) Serological survey and risk factors for Toxoplasma gondii in domestic ducks and geese in Lower Saxony, Germany. Vet Parasitol 182:140–149CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Prestrud KW, Åsbakk K, Fuglei E, Mørk T, Stien A, Ropstad E, Tryland M, Gabrielsen GW, Lydersen C, Kovacs KM, Loonen MJJE, Sagerup K, Oksanen A (2007) Serosurvey for Toxoplasma gondii in arctic foxes and possible sources of infection in the high Arctic of Svalbard. Vet Parasitol 150:6–12CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Work TM, Verma SK, Su C, Medeiros J, Kaiakapu T, Dubey JP (2016) Serology and genetics of Toxoplasma gondii in endangered Hawaiian (Nene) geese (Branta sandvicensis). J Wildlife Dis (in press)Google Scholar