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Toxoplasma gondii in marine mammals

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  • Biology
  • Medicine


Microsoft Word - Final Scientific programme for ECS 2014.docx 239 Poster code : ANA-PATH-22 Toxoplasma gondii in marine mammals van de Velde Norbert(1), Brecht Devleesschauwer(2), Stéphane Decraeye(3), James Barnett(4), Lineke Begeman(5), Andrew Brownlow(6), Nick Davison(7), Jooske IJzer(8), Thierry Jauniaux(9), Sjoukje Hiemstra(10), Ursula Siebert(11), Pierre Dorny(12) (1) Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, Merelbeke, Oost-Vlaanderen, 9820, Belgium. (2) Ghent University. (3) WIV-ISP, Scientific Institute for Public Health. (4) . (5) Univeristy of Utrecht. (6) Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme, SRUC. (7) Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme, SRUC. (8) Univeristy of Utrecht. (9) Liège Univeristy. (10) . (11) Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife. (12) Ghent University, Institute for Tropical Medicine. Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonosis of worldwide distribution, it has been found in many different species of warm-blooded animals. Felids act as the end-host in the lifecycle of T. gondii and it is assumed that all warm-blooded animals can act as intermediate host. Because of the absence of felids in the marine environment the presence of T. gondii in marine mammals is surprising. Several studies have shown the presence of this parasite in marine animals. Although disease or pathology associated with toxoplasmosis is rare in marine mammals, it is possible for marine mammals to develop clinical symptoms, mostly due to immunosuppression. In this study, we investigated the presence of the parasite in samples from stranded marine mammals from the Dutch, Belgian, United Kingdom and German coast by using PCR and serological testing (MAT, Modified Agglutination Test). Preliminary results from samples from stranded marine mammals on the Dutch coast show that this parasite is infrequently present in these stranded animals. One positive animal out of 102 individuals (0,98%) was found using PCR. Serologic testing on 81 animals showed 33

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