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Factors affecting the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) from Spain

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Sera from 456 wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) collected between 1992 and 2003 from five geographical regions of Spain were examined for antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii by the modified agglutination test. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 65 (14.2%) wild rabbits. Prevalence of infection was significantly higher in samples collected from wild rabbits from Catalonia, northeast Spain (53.8%), where rabbits lived in forest, compared to other areas (Huelva and Cádiz, Andalucía, south Spain; Toledo, Castilla-La Mancha, central Spain; and Zaragoza, Aragón, northeast Spain) with more dry conditions, where prevalence ranged from 6.1 to 14.6%. No differences were observed on prevalence and age (young animals <7 months of age compared to older animals), sex, date of samples collection or season of samples collection. The results indicate that prevalence of T. gondii in some areas of Spain is high, and this finding could have environmental and/or public health implications if wild rabbits are to be used as a source of food.
Almeria, S. , Calvete, C. , Pages, A. , Gauss, C. , Dubey, J.P.
Includes references
Veterinary parasitology 2004 Sept. 2, v. 123, issue 3-4
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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