Occurrence and risk factors associated with infection by Toxoplasma gondii in goats in the State of Alagoas, Brazil

Ocorrência e fatores de risco associados à infecção por Toxoplasma gondii em caprinos do Estado de Alagoas

INTRODUCTION: Goats are considered very susceptible to infection by Toxoplasma gondii and when this occurs during pregnancy, it may cause fetal death with subsequent fetal resorption, abortion, mummification, stillborn or the birth of weak goats. The objective of this work was to determine the occurrence of and identify risk factors for T. gondii infection in goats in different mesoregions in the State of Alagoas. METHODS: The research was conducted on 24 goat breeding farms in 10 municipalities. A total of 454 blood samples were examined for anti-T. gondii antibodies by indirect immunofluorescence antibody test. To evaluate the risk factors of toxoplasmosis in goats, questionnaires were applied analyzing the farm's production system and nutritional, reproductive and sanitary management. RESULTS: Disease occurrence was 39% with 95.8% of farms presenting seropositive animals. Significant associations were observed for mesoregion (OR = 0.23; 95%CI = 0.09 - 0.57), age (OR = 0.36; 95%CI = 0.20 - 0.64), semi-intensive herd management (OR = 8.70; 95%CI = 1.87 - 40.43), access of cats to water provided for goats (OR = 3.38; 95%CI = 1.89-6.02) and cats feeding on placental remnants (OR = 2.73; 95%CI = 1.38 - 5.40). CONCLUSIONS: Toxoplasma gondii infection is disseminated in the State of Alagoas and the adoption of a program that monitors infection foci is required to reduce the risk factors identified in the present study.

Imunofluorescência indireta; Protozoário; Epidemiologia

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