Molecular and Serological Detection of Toxoplasma gondii in Stray Cats in Shiraz, South-central, Iran
AbstractBackground: Toxoplasmosis is a global zoonotic disease that causes critical medical complications in neonates and immunocompromised persons. Infection rates in cats, specifically stray cats, are believed to be the best sentry of the level of Toxoplasma gondii in the environment. Therefore, in this study, we surveyed T. gondii infection in stray cats of Shiraz, one of the metropolises of Iran. Methods: The appearance of antibodies and DNA of T. gondii in samples from 145 stray cats was determined in order to appraise the prevalence of T. gondii infection, by MAT and Nested-PCR. Results: The rate of T. gondii infection in the cats was 69% by PCR and 82.8% by MAT. Besides, the highest rate of infection was discerned in diaphragm (37.9%) and intercostal muscle (34.5%), while the lowest rate was related to ileum (6.9%). Moreover, the similarity between MAT with titers 1:20, 1:40 and PCR were 79.2% and 86.2%, respectively (P=0.02 and P=0.0001). Conclusion: Nested-PCR and MAT are valuable techniques for molecular and serological detection of T. gondii. The prevalence of T. gondii infection in stray cats in Shiraz is high.
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