Pesquisa Veterinária Brasileira
versión impresa ISSN 0100-736X
MILLAR, Patricia R. et al. Occurrence of infection with Toxoplasma gondii and factors associated with transmission in broiler chickens and laying hens in different raising systems. Pesq. Vet. Bras. [online]. 2012, vol.32, n.3, pp. 231-236. ISSN 0100-736X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-736X2012000300009.
Toxoplasmosis is a zoonotic disease caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. The aim of the present study was to determine the occurrence and identify the risk factors associated with transmission of T. gondii to chickens raised in different systems (free-ranged and confined) to produce eggs or meat. The 810 animals were allocated in two experimental groups according to the production system purpose: 460 broiler chickens (Group 1) and 350 layer chickens (Group 2). In order to analyze the possible factors involved in T. gondii infection in the chickens, an epidemiological questionnaire was developed for all properties.The serological detection of anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies was performed by Indirect Immunofluorescence (IFAT) and by Enzime Linked Imunossorbent Assay (ELISA). Since the agreement index (kappa) between these two serological techniques was considered high, 21.2% of the 810 animals were considered reactive. In Group 1, 12.2% (56/460) were positive, while in the Group 2 the positivity rate was 33.1% (116/350). The production system may be influencing the seropositivity of the animals in both groups. However, only in Group 2 it was possible to notice a statistically significant relationship between the breeding system and the frequency of positive sera. This result indicates that, at least for laying hens, the production system is directly involved in T. gondii infection. The contact with cats in Group 1 did not influence the distribution of seroreactive animals, but in Group 2 a significant relationship was observed. The occurrence of anti-T. gondii antibodies was high in both groups (broiler and posture chickens). Free-ranged chickens raised for egg production proved to be the most exposed group to the T. gondii infection. This can be related to the fact that these animals stay for longer periods in the farms, in direct contact with possibly contaminated soil by the presence of domestic cats.
Palabras llave : Toxoplasma gondii; broiler chickens; laying hens; transmission.