Parasitology Research

, Volume 117, Issue 10, pp 3305–3308 | Cite as

Typical Brazilian genotype of Toxoplasma gondii isolated from a horse destined for human consumption in Europe from a slaughterhouse

  • Hilda Fátima Jesus Pena
  • Thiago Mombach Pinheiro
  • Herbert Sousa Soares
  • Solange Oliveira
  • Bruna Farias Alves
  • Marina Neves Ferreira
  • Solange Maria Gennari
Short Communication


Toxoplasmosis is a zoonotic disease caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. Infections occur via the ingestion of oocysts, consumption of cysts containing bradyzoites, and transplacental transmission of tachyzoites. Diversity in T. gondii strains may affect the outcome of clinical toxoplasmosis. The consumption of horse meat is a common practice in some parts of the world. The objectives of the present study were to isolate and genotype T. gondii from horses from an abattoir in the state of Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil that exports horse meat to Europe. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 32.5% (13/40) of the horses using the modified agglutination test (MAT) with a cut-off of 1:25. Tissues from the 13 seropositive horses were bioassayed in mice, and one isolate, designated TgHorseBrRS1, was obtained. PCR-RFLP of the isolate revealed the ToxoDB-RFLP #228 genotype, a typical non-archetypal Brazilian genotype, and microsatellite analysis showed a unique non-archetypal genotype. This study showed that horses from Brazil can harbor viable T. gondii in their tissues, suggesting that recommendations to consumers should be made, especially in European countries where consumption of raw horse meat is common.


Toxoplasmosis Diversity PCR-RFLP Microsatellites Horse meat Brazil 


Funding information

SMG is a recipient of a scholarship from the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq). This work was supported in part by the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES), Brazil [grant number CAPES/PROEX 1841/2016].

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Research involving animals

The protocols conducted in this study were approved by the Animal Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (CEUA/FMVZ/2856060616) of the University of São Paulo, Brazil.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hilda Fátima Jesus Pena
    • 1
  • Thiago Mombach Pinheiro
    • 2
  • Herbert Sousa Soares
    • 1
  • Solange Oliveira
    • 1
  • Bruna Farias Alves
    • 1
  • Marina Neves Ferreira
    • 1
  • Solange Maria Gennari
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Medicina Veterinária Preventiva e Saúde Animal, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e ZootecniaUniversidade de São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Fazenda Experimental da Ressacada, Centro de Ciências Agrárias, UFSCSanta CatarinaBrazil

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