Endemic toxoplasmosis in pigs on a farm in Maryland: Isolation and genetic characterization of Toxoplasma gondii

J. P. Dubey, D. E. Hill, N. Sundar, G. V. Velmurugan, L. A. Bandini, O. C.H. Kwok, V. Pierce, K. Kelly, M. Dulin, P. Thulliez, C. Iwueke, C. Su

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42 Scopus citations


The prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii was investigated on a poorly managed pig farm in Maryland. Serum and tissue samples from 48 of the 100 pigs on the farm were available for T. gondii evaluation. Serological testing was performed using both ELISA and the modified agglutination test (MAT). Antibodies to T. gondii were detected by ELISA in 12 of 48 animals, while antibodies were detected in 34 of 48 pigs by MAT with titers of 1:10 in 1, 1:20 in 4, 1:40 in 7, 1:80 in 3, 1:160 in 8, 1:320 in 3, 1:640 in 4, and 1:1,280 in 4. Hearts of 16 pigs with MAT titers of 1:10 or higher were bioassayed for T. gondii in cats; 11 cats shed T. gondii oocysts. Hearts of 22 pigs were autolyzed and bioassayed only in mice; T. gondii was isolated from 3 of these 22 pigs. Genetic typing of the 14 T. gondii isolates using the SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico loci revealed 4 genotypes; 10 isolates belonged to type II lineage (genotypes 1 and 2), 3 belonged to genotype 3, and 1 belonged to genotype 4. Genotype 1 and 2 have type II alleles at all genetic loci, except the former has type II allele and the latter has a type I allele at locus Apico. Both genotypes 1 and 2 are considered to belong to the clonal type II lineages. Genotype 3 and 4 are nonclonal isolates. Results document high prevalence of T. gondii in pigs on a farm in Maryland.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-41
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Parasitology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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