Risk factors involved in transmission of Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum infection in rabbit farms in Northern Italy
More details
Hide details
Department of Biology and Wildlife Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and Ecology, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic
Department of Virology and Serology, State Veterinary Institute Prague, Czech Republic
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
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
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.

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.

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.

Dubey JP, Brown CA, Carpenter JL, Moore JJ. Fatal toxoplasmosis in domestic rabbits in the USA. Vet Parasitol. 1992; 44: 305–309.
Zanet S, Palese V, Trisciuoglio A, Cantón Alonso C, Ferroglio E. Neospora caninum: Detection in wild rabbits and investigation of co-infection with Toxoplasma gondii by PCR analysis. Vet Parasitol. 2013; 197: 682–684.
Dubey JP. Toxoplasmosis of animals and humans, second edition. CRC Press, 2010, Taylor and Francis Group, Boca Raton, Florida ISBN 978-1-4200-9236-3, p. 313.
Uhliková M, Hübner J. Congenital transmission of toxoplasmosis in domestic rabbits. Folia Parasitol. 1973; 20: 285–291.
Lonardi C, Grilli G, Ferrazzi V, Dal Cin M, Rigolin D, Piccirillo A. Serological survey of Encephalitozoon cuniculi infection in commercially reared rabbit does in Northern Italy. Res Vet Sci. 2013; 94: 295–298.
Sedlak K, Literak I, Faldyna M, Toman M, Benak J. Fatal toxoplasmosis in brown hares (Lepus europaeus): possible reason of their high susceptibility to the infection. Vet Parasitol. 2000; 93: 13–28.
StatSoft, Inc. (2013). STATISTICA (data analysis software system), version 12.
Zhou Y, Zhang H, Cao J, Gong H, Zhou J. Isolation and genotyping of Toxoplasma gondii from domestic rabbits in China to reveal the prevalence of type III strains. Vet Parasitol. 2013; 193: 270–276.
Neumayerova H, Jurankova J, Jeklova E, Kudlackova H, Faldyna M, Kovarcik K et al.. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and Encephalitozoon cuniculi in rabbits from different fading systems. Vet Parasitol. 2014; 204: 184–190.
Ashmawy KI, Abuakkada SS, Awad AM. Seroprevalence of antibodies to Encephalitozoon cuniculi and Toxoplasma gondii in farmed domestic rabbits in Egypt. Zoon Publ Health. 2010; 58: 357–364.
Alvarado-Esquivel C, Alvarado-Esquivel D, Villena I, Dubey JP. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in domestic rabbits in Durango State, Mexico. Prev Vet Med. 2013; 111: 325–328.
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top