Toxoplasma gondii Seroprevalence in Horses from Ukraine: an Investigation Using Two Serological Methods
- 39 Downloads
Horses are recognized as important hosts for the zoonotic parasite Toxoplasma gondii, mainly because meat of infected horses can be a source of human T. gondii infections. However, the baseline knowledge on equine T. gondii infections is limited and lacking from many countries. This seroepidemiological study was set in Ukraine, a country where little is known about T. gondii prevalence in any host species.
We investigated 78 serum samples from horses, collected from Kyiv and Lviv regions of Ukraine, using a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and a commercial modified direct agglutination test (DAT). The ELISA is intended to detect the presence of total antibodies against T. gondii, and the DAT detects specific anti-T. gondii immunoglobulin G antibodies. The cutoff titer for DAT seropositivity was a titer of 40.
Two horses were omitted from statistical analyses due to disagreeing ELISA results. Altogether 16 of the remaining 76 horses were seropositive with the ELISA, yielding an apparent seroprevalence estimate of 21.1% (95% confidence interval 13.0–31.3). Five horses tested positive with both ELISA and DAT, 11 horses tested positive with ELISA only, and one with DAT only. For 64 of the 76 horses, the results of ELISA and DAT agreed; the percent agreement was 84.2 and the Kappa statistic was − 1.5208, indicating poor agreement.
Our results add to the knowledge on the global epidemiology of T. gondii and exposure level of horses to the major zoonotic parasite, as well as to the discussion of challenges of applying serology to estimate exposure to T. gondii in horses.
KeywordsDAT ELISA Equine Serology Toxoplasmosis Zoonosis
We thank the owners of the horses and our colleagues who contributed to the sampling or in other ways to this study. This work was supported by Scandinavian-Baltic Society for Parasitology Mobility Grant (Maryna Galat, June 11, 2017), Base Funding of Estonian University of Life Sciences (8P160014VLVP), and State Ukrainian Grant 0116U001592 (2016–2017).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare there are no conflicts of interest.
- 2.Aroussi A, Vignoles P, Dalmay F, Wimel L, Dardé M-L, Mercier A et al (2015) Detection of Toxoplasma gondii DNA in horse meat from supermarkets in France and performance evaluation of two serological tests. Parasite 22:14. https://doi.org/10.1051/parasite/2015014 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 6.Dean AG, Sullivan KM, Soe MM (2018) OpenEpi: open source epidemiologic statistics for public health. www.OpenEpi.com. Accessed 05 Jan 2019
- 8.Elbez-Rubinstein A, Ajzenberg D, Dardé M-L, Cohen R, Dumètre A, Yera H et al (2009) Congenital toxoplasmosis and reinfection during pregnancy: case report, strain characterization, experimental model of reinfection, and review. J Infect Dis 199:280–285. https://doi.org/10.1086/595793 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 12.Kouam MK, Diakou A, Kanzoura V, Papadopoulos E, Gajadhar AA, Theodoropoulos G (2010) A seroepidemiological study of exposure to Toxoplasma, Leishmania, Echinococcus and Trichinella in equids in Greece and analysis of risk factors. Vet Parasitol 170:170–175. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2010.02.004 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 19.Opsteegh M, Maas M, Schares G, van der Giessen J, a Consortium (2016) Relationship between seroprevalence in the main livestock species and presence of Toxoplasma gondii in meat (GP/EFSA/BIOHAZ/2013/01). An extensive literature review. Final report. EFSA Support Publ. EN-996, pp 294 https://doi.org/10.2903/sp.efsa.2016.en-996
- 23.Posternak LI (2017) Prospects and criteria of the horse-breeding in Ukraine. Agrar Sci Food Technol 2:230–236. http://techfood.vsau.org/files/pdfa/3718.pdf. Accessed 05 Jan 2019. (in Ukrainian, with English summary)
- 24.Prudkyi U, Galat M (2015) Toxoplasmosis—widespread disease of animals. Vet Med Ukr 2:23–24. http://base.dnsgb.com.ua/files/journal/Veterinarna-medicina-Ukrainy/VMU-2015-02/8.pdf. Accessed 05 Jan 2019. (In Ukrainian, with English summary)
- 26.Sposito Filha E, do Amaral V, Macruz R, Reboucas MM, Santos SM, Borgo F (1992) Infecção experimental de eqüinos com taquizoítos de Toxoplasma gondii. Revista Brasileira de Parasitologia Veterinaria 1:51–54 (in Portuguese) Google Scholar
- 27.Zhang XX, Ren WX, Hou G, Liu Q, Yu TQ, Zhao Q et al (2018) Seroprevalence and risk factors of Toxoplasma gondii infection in horses in Jilin Province and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Northern China. Acta Trop 187:119–123. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actatropica.2018.07.030 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar