The seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii was investigated in wild and captive cetaceans from Japan. Antibodies against T. gondii were examined by both latex agglutination test (LAT) and indirect hemagglutination test (IHAT) for 77 serum or plasma samples obtained from 59 individuals of 6 species, including 2 hybrids. Antibody titers greater than 1:64 in LAT and greater than 1:640 in IHAT, indicative of the presence of T. gondii, were found in 11.9% of 59 individuals. In 7 samples that showed a positive reaction by IHAT, T. gondii titers were examined for each immunoglobulin (Ig) fraction separated by sucrose gradient centrifugation. The antibody peaks in each fraction were divided into 3 types, thought to be a reaction of IgM (type 1), IgG (type 2), and IgM with IgG (type 3). Type 1 was found in serum from a bottle-nosed dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and a killer whale (Orcinus orca) sampled soon after capture off the Japanese coast in 1988; it was concluded that infection in the wild had occurred less than 15 yr before the study was performed. The prevalence of putative IgM and IgG antibodies from a captive-bred T. truncatus suggested that T. gondii infection also occurred in the aquarium.

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