Abstract

Little is known concerning the epidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii infection in people and animals in rural Mexico. Serum samples and tissues from 150 dogs (Canis familaris), 150 cats (Felis catus), 65 opossums (Didelphis virginianus), 249 rats (Rattus spp.), 127 mice (Mus musculus), and 69 squirrels (Spermophilus variegatus) from the Durango area were evaluated for T. gondii infection. Using a modified agglutination test and a serum dilution of 1:25, antibodies to this parasite were found in 68 (45.3%) of 150 dogs, 14 (9.3%) of 150 cats, 11 (16.6%) of 66 opossums, 2 (0.8%) of 249 rats, 4 (3.1%) of 127 mice, and 0 of 69 squirrels. Tissues (brain and heart) of dogs, cats, opossums, rats, mice, and squirrels were bioassayed in mice for the presence of T. gondii. Viable T. gondii was isolated in tissues from 3 of 28 seropositive dogs and 5 of 8 seropositive cats, but not from the other animals. The DNA obtained from the 3 T. gondii isolates from dogs, 6 isolates from 5 cats, and 4 isolates from free-range chickens from Mexico, previously isolated, were genotyped. The PCR-RFLP typing, which used 11 markers (B1, SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico), identified 5 genotypes. One genotype (the 4 chicken isolates) belongs to the clonal Type III lineage, three genotypes were reported in previous reports, and 1 genotype is unique.

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