ABSTRACT

Toxoplasma gondii infections are common in humans and animals worldwide. The ingestion of food or water contaminated with oocysts excreted by infected cats or ingesting uncooked or undercooked meat containing tissue cysts of T. gondii are the 2 major modes of transmission of T. gondii. Viable T. gondii is more prevalent in pork and lamb than in beef. In the past decade, there have been many articles on the high seroprevalence in cattle, particularly from China. There is a report of an outbreak of acute toxoplasmosis in humans suspected to be linked to the ingestion of Artisan fresh cheese from cow's milk. There are conflicting reports concerning the rate of congenital transmission of T. gondii in cattle, especially from Brazil. In a report from Brazil, viable T. gondii was isolated from the blood of 1 of 60 pregnant cows slaughtered at an abattoir and from 1 fetus. The role of beef in the epidemiology of T. gondii infections is still not clear. Here, we review prevalence, persistence of infection, clinical disease, epidemiology, and public health risks of T. gondii infections in cattle from beef and cow's milk worldwide for the past decade.

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