Toxoplasma gondii in Aborted Fetuses of Sheep in Ardebil Ar-ea, North-West of Iran
AbstractBackground: One of the severe complications of toxoplasmosis is the induction of abortion in sheep, goats, and human beings. The rate of abortions related to toxoplasmosis in sheep varies between 10% and 23% in the United States and European countries. In Iran, Toxoplasma infection were diagnosed in aborted ovine fetuses between 13.5% and 69% in the brain samples based on PCR. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of abortions related to T. gondii among the aborted fetuses of sheep in Ardabil area, North-West of Iran. Methods: The brains of 75 aborted sheep fetuses in Ardebil area were investigated with nested PCR method using fragments of the GRA6 gene during lambing seasons in 2014-2015. Meanwhile, thoracic and abdominal fluids of aborted fetuses and 200 serum samples collected from the herds affected by abortion were examined for the existence of anti-T. gondii IgG. Results: For 48 out of the 75 fetal brain samples (64%), the results of nested PCR test were found to be positive. Furthermore, antibodies against Toxoplasma was observed in 136 (68%) collected samples of sheep and 21 samples (28%) of fetal fluids. Conclusion: There is the significant role of T. gondii in the abortions of sheep in Ardabil area. Meanwhile, this condition can also be dangerous for human beings because of their consumption of sheep meat.
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