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Pesquisa Veterinária Brasileira
Print version ISSN 0100-736X
VARASCHIN, Mary S. et al. Factors associated to seroprevalence of Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii in caprine herds in southern Minas Gerais state, Brazil. Pesq. Vet. Bras. [online]. 2011, vol.31, n.1, pp.53-58. ISSN 0100-736X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-736X2011000100008.
This study determines the seroprevalences of Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii in caprine herds in southern Minas Gerais state and investigates their association with the reproductive performance of the herds analyzed since no data concerning neosporosis in goats in this state are available. Serum samples from 401 goats from 11 farms were subjected to indirect immunofluorescence reaction for the detection of N. caninum and T. gondii. The mean prevalence rates of animals that tested positive were 10.7% and 21.4%, respectively. Significant differences between different age groups were observed. The highest frequencies of positive cases for both parasites were observed in goats over three years of age; in this group, the probability of seropositivity for N. caninum and T. gondii was 2.6 and 4.8 times higher, respectively, when compared to animals up to one year of age. No positive correlation was found between the mean prevalence rate of N. caninum (p-0,553) and T. gondii (p=0.098) and the occurrence of reproductive problems in the herds using T-test. However, farms with a history of reproductive problems exhibited an average of 18.64% animals reactive to N. caninum, compared to 13.97% from farms where those problems were not reported. When reproductive problems were separated in category, the relationship between occurrence of abortion and seroprevalence of N. caninum and T. gondii was significant (p<0.05) using Fisher's exact test and chi-square test. No difference was seen (p>0.05) between the mean prevalence rate of T. gondii of herds to which cats had access as compared to herds that had no contact with cats using a T-test. However, the mean prevalence rate in farms where cats had access to the herd was 31.01% as compared to 17.34% in farms where there were no cats. Access of dogs was observed in 100% of the farms. The results obtained in this study demonstrate that N. caninum and T. gondii infect goats in southern Minas Gerais and that these parasites can be associated with the occurrence of abortion in this animal species.
Keywords : Neospora caninum; Toxoplasma gondii; seroprevalence; goat disease.