142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

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Evidence of Toxoplasma gondii Exposure in Boer Goat Herds in Missouri, USA

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 2:30 PM - 2:45 PM

Hayley Yaglom, MS, MPH , Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction, University of Missouri, College of Veterinary Medicine, Columbia, MO
Patrick Pithua , College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO

Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular parasitic zoonotic agent found worldwide which can be transmitted through contact with feal matter from cats or via ingestion of contaminated meat. In fact, this agent is considered to be the 2nd leading cause of death and 4th leading cause of hospitalizations due to foodborne illnesses. Limited data currently exist on the prevalence of Toxoplasma infections in goats in the USA. The objective of this pilot investigation was to determine the prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in Boer goats raised in Missouri. Sera

collected from 367 Boer goats in 24 herds were tested using a commercial latex agglutination assay. Evidence of T. gondii antibodies was present in 25 of the 367 goats, with titres of 1 : 32 in 4, 1 : 64 in 11, 1 : 128 in 5, 1 : 256 in 3 and 1 : 1024 in 2. Estimates for the apparent animal-level and between-herd prevalence were 6.8% (95% CI = 4.7–9.9%) and 41.7% (95% CI = 24.5–61.2%). These results confirm that Boer goats in Missouri are exposed to T. gondii and may constitute a public health risk to producers and consumers. Given our findings, further research is needed to understand the epidemiology of toxoplasmosis under contemporary US goat production systems and identify prevention strategies for geographic areas in which this agent is found.

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in Boer goats in the state of Missouri. Identify the presence of or lack of a public health risk to producers and consumers.

Keyword(s): Veterinary Public Health, Epidemiology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have completed an MPH in veterinary public health and epidemiology, during which I had conducted this investigation as an independent research practicum. I have been involved in many aspects of epidemiology, and will be working as a vector-borne/zoonotic disease epidemiologist at the state level, as well as teaching a Zoonoses and public health course as adjunct faculty.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 4318.0: Environmental Epidemiology