Toxoplasma gondii in protected wildlife in the Tatra National Park (TANAP), Slovakia
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Institute of Parasitology SAS, Slovak Republic
University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy, Košice, Slovak Republic
Research Station and Museum of the Tatra National Park, Tatranská Lomnica, Slovak Republic
Ann Agric Environ Med 2014;21(2):235–238
Toxoplasma gondii is an obligatory intracellular protozoan parasite that infects a broad spectrum of warm-blooded vertebrate species. As a part of the food chain, farm animals play a significant role in transmission of T. gondii to humans, while rats and mice serve as a main source of infection for free-living animals. The spread of toxoplasmosis in the human population is due to the interchange of the domestic and sylvatic cycles. During 2009–2011, a survey on toxoplasmosis distribution was conducted in wildlife of the Tatra National Park (TANAP) in Slovakia. A total of 60 animals were examined. The presence of T. gondii was detected by means of molecular methods based on TGR1E gene analyses. The highest prevalence was recorded in birds (40.0%), followed by carnivores (30.8%) and rodents (18.2%). RFLP analyses of SAG2 locus confirmed in birds the genotype II and III, belonging to the avirulent strain; rodents exclusively had genotype I, characterised as a virulent train, and in carnivores all three genotypes were detected. These results present the first survey on the parasite’s occurrence in several species of free-living animals in the TANAP area. An epidemiological study confirmed the prevalence of 30.0%, implicitly referring to the level of environmental contamination with T. gondii oocysts.
Ludmila Turčeková   
Institute of Parasitology SAS, Slovak Republic
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