Occurrence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in opossums caught in urban areas of Bauru, state of São Paulo, Brazil
Keywords:Didelphis, Toxoplasmosis, Zoonosis, T. gondii
Toxoplasmosis is one of the most common zoonoses worldwide. It was initially described in rodents and rabbits. There are few data on the morbidity and mortality of this disease among Brazilian marsupial fauna, such as opossums. These animals are of great importance regarding the epidemiology of this disease, given that they are prey for felids and other carnivores. With the aim of ascertaining the serological response to Toxoplasma gondii among marsupials (Didelphis spp.), 38 animals that had been caught in 14 districts of the urban area of the municipality of Bauru, state of São Paulo, were evaluated. The modified agglutination test (MAT) showed that 26.3% (10/38) of the samples analyzed were seropositive. It can be suggested that the opossums’ behavior and persistent proximity to human housing results in contact with cats and T. gondii infection, based on the frequency found in this study. This was the first study on the seroprevalence of T. gondii in opossums caught in the urban area of the municipality of Bauru, SP, and it highlights the need for environmental and health authorities of the municipality to monitor this zoonosis.
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