The prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in free-ranging chickens is a good indicator of the prevalence of T. gondii oocysts in the soil because chickens feed from the ground. The prevalence of T. gondii in 61 free-range chickens (Gallus domesticus) from provinces of Santiago del Estero and Entre Rios, Argentina was determined. Antibodies to T. gondii were assayed by the modified agglutination test (MAT) and were found in 25 chickens; titers were 1:5 in 6 chickens, 1:10 in 1 chicken, 1:20 in 2 chickens, 1:40 in 1 chicken, 1:80 in 2 chickens, 1:60 in 4 chickens, 1:120 in 2 chickens, 1:640 in 3 chickens, and 1: 1,280 or higher in 4 chickens. Hearts, pectoral muscles, and brains of 22 seropositive (MAT 1:10 or higher) chickens were bioassayed individually in mice. Tissue from 39 chickens with titers of 1:5 or less were pooled and fed to 3 T. gondii-free cats. Feces of cats were examined for oocysts, but none was found. Toxoplasma gondii was isolated from 17 of 22 chickens with MAT titers of 1:10 or higher. Genotyping of these 17 isolates using polymorphisms at the SAG2 locus indicated that 4 were Type I, 3 were Type II, and 10 were Type III. Toxoplasma gondii isolates (2 Type I and 1 Type III) from 3 chickens were virulent for mice and 1 Type I was not mouse virulent. Prevalence of T. gondii antibodies in chickens varied among regions, being 3 times greater in the humid Pampeana region (61.2%) than in the semiarid plain of Santiago del Estero (20%).

You do not currently have access to this content.