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Risk factors involved in transmission of Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum infection in rabbit farms in Northern Italy
 
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1
Department of Biology and Wildlife Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and Ecology, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic
2
Department of Virology and Serology, State Veterinary Institute Prague, Czech Republic
3
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
4
Department of Comparative Biomedicine and Food Science, University of Padua, Legnaro (Padua), Italy
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Eva Bártová   

Department of Biology and Wildlife Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and Ecology, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic
 
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2015;22(4):677–679
 
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
Introduction and objective:
In Italy, rabbits are frequently reared for meat production. The aim of the study was to find the seroprevalence of T. gondii and N. caninum parasites, and risk factors of infection in rabbit farms.

Material and Methods:
Blood samples from 260 apparently healthy breeding rabbits were collected on 13 commercial farms in Northern Italy. Rabbits were divided into categories according to age, number of births, breed, province and size of farm. Samples were tested for antibodies to T. gondii and N. caninum using the indirect fluorescence antibody test (IFAT); samples with a titre ≥ 50 were considered positive.

Results:
Antibodies to T. gondii and N. caninum were found in 38 (14.6 %) and 3 (1.2 %) rabbits, respectively. A statistically significant difference (p-value ≤ 0.05) was found only in T. gondii prevalence among different rabbit breeds and provinces.

Conclusions:
Rabbits from Northern Italy are at risk of T. gondii and N. caninum infection; however, it is lower compared to seroprevalence noted in other animal species or in humans.

 
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