Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum in goats from north-western Spain

Pablo Díaz 1  ,  
Eva Cabanelas 1,  
Miguel Viña 1,  
Animal Pathology Department (INVESAGA Group), Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. Campus Universitario s/n, Lugo, Spain
Ann Agric Environ Med 2016;23(4):587–590
Introduction and objective:
Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum are protozoans involved in reproductive failure especially in ruminant livestock. The objective was to estimate the seroprevalence of both parasites in goats from north-western Spain and to study the influence of some factors on seropositivity.

Material and Methods:
Blood samples from 638 goats were collected in 50 farms. Presence of T. gondii and N. caninum antibodies were detected by direct agglutination and competitive ELISA techniques, respectively. The risk factor analysis was performed using a mixed-effects logistic regression.

Individual (48%) and herd-level (74%) T. gondii seroprevalence values were high; the within-herd prevalence was 53%. In contrast, 6% of animals tested positive to N. caninum and 38% of the herds had at least one positive animal, with a true within-herd prevalence of 10%. Mixed infections were limited; 91% of N. caninum seropositive goats were also positive to T. gondii The risk factor analysis showed that T. gondii seroprevalence is influenced by the presence of sheep in the farm (OR=4.9) and the seropositivity to N. caninum (OR=16.5); goats from the Central-coastal area, more humid and warm, had a 15.7-fold probability of being seropositive to T. gondii than those from the Mountainous area. Cross-breed goats (OR=4.5) and the seropositivity to [i]T. gondii [/i](OR= 9.5) were factors associated with N. caninum seropositivity.

The high T. gondii seroprevalence in goats constitute a noticeable zoonotic risk. The consideration of the risk factors identified in designing T. gondii and N. caninum control programs in goat herds should allow the implementation of more efficient measures, avoiding the appearance of outbreaks of reproductive disorders by both protozoans in goats.

Pablo Díaz   
Animal Pathology Department (INVESAGA Group), Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. Campus Universitario s/n, Lugo, Spain
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