Occurrence and risk factors associated with Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum infections in dogs in the county of Natal, Rio Grande do Norte state, Northeastern Brazil

The aim of this survey was to determine the frequency of anti-Toxoplasma gondii and anti-Neosporacaninum antibodies, as well as to identify risk factors in dogs from the county of Natal, Rio Grande do Norte state, Northeastern Brazil. Blood samples were collected from 476 dogs attended at veterinary clinics from March 2011 to May 2012. For the serological diagnosis of the infections the indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) adopting the dilutions 1:64 (T. gondii) and 1:50 (N. caninum) as cut-off points, was used. Of the 476 samples 55 (11.5%, 95% CI=8.8%-14.8%) were seropositive to T. gondii, and 31 (6.5%, 95% CI=4.5%-9.1%) to N. caninum. The variables age >48 months (OR=4.68) and access to street (OR=4.91) were identified as risk factors for T. gondii, while for N. caninum, risk factors were weekly/fortnightly/monthly cleaning of the environment where the animal stay (OR=2.77) and presence of rodents (OR=2.34). It is concluded that infectionsdue to T. gondii and N. caninum detected by serology are present in dogs attended at veterinary clinics in the county of Natal, as well as it is recommended the correction of the risk factors identified.

toxoplasmosis; neosporosis; serology; epidemiology; dogs


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