Toxoplasma gondii and Leishmania spp. infection in captive crab-eating foxes, Cerdocyon thous (Carnivora, Canidae) from Brazil

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Elsevier B.V.


The zoonoses toxoplasmosis and leishmaniasis are important worldwide and also affect wild animals. Thus, the present study aimed to assess the prevalence of Leishmania spp. and Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in 52 serum samples from captive crab-eating foxes (Cerdocyon thous) kept in 17 zoos in São Paulo State, Brazil. Modified agglutination test (MAT, for toxoplasmosis) and indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT, for toxoplasmosis and leishmaniasis) were employed with heterologous anti-dog immunoglobulin. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 19.2% animals, with an almost perfect concordance (kappa = 0.86; standard error = 9.31%; CI95% = 68.25-104.76%; P < 0.0001) and a strong correlation coefficient (rs = 0.87; P < 0.0001), which allows the use of heterologous anti-dog immunoglobulin to perform IFAT for toxoplasmosis in crab-eating foxes. No sample was positive for Leishmania spp. Toxoplasmosis infection occurs in wild animals from the studied Brazilian zoos, which indicates a probable environmental contamination, highlighting the importance of appropriate zoo management and the action of the parasite as a sentinel to human infection. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.



Cerdocyon thous, Leishmania spp., Toxoplasma gondii, MAT, IFAT, Heterologous anti-serum immunoglobulin

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Veterinary Parasitology. Amsterdam: Elsevier B.V., v. 169, n. 1-2, p. 190-192, 2010.