Toxoplasmosis represents an important public health issue, with the consumption of raw or undercooked meat being a major way of human infection. The role of beef in the transmission of the parasite to humans is questioned due to lower quantity of tissue cysts compared with other meat-producing species. However, the habit of consuming raw beef is regionally diffused, and the risk posed by Toxoplasma gondii infection in cattle should not be overlooked. Therefore, to update information on T. gondii in cattle reared in Italy, a multicentric seroepidemiological survey was designed and implemented in four Northern regions (Liguria, Lombardy, Piedmont, and Trentino Alto Adige) and Sardinia. Overall, a convenience sampling was performed, collecting 1444 serum samples from 57 beef cattle herds. Thirteen beef breeds were sampled, besides cross-breed; bovines age varied from 3 months to over 12 years. Sera were tested with a commercial ELISA for the detection of anti-T. gondii antibodies. Individual and herd data were analyzed by binary logistic regression analysis. A T. gondii seroprevalence of 10.2% was recorded, with differences among regions and values ranging from 5.3% in Liguria to 18.6% in the Piedmont region (p value = 0.0001). Both young and adult animals and males and females tested positive, without any significant difference (age and gender: p value > 0.05). Lower seroprevalence values were recorded in cattle born in Italy (8.7%) if compared with animals imported from abroad (13.4%) (p value = 0.046). The spread of T. gondii in beef cattle destined to Italian consumers is confirmed, suggesting the need of continuous monitoring of the infection.
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|Titolo:||Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence in beef cattle raised in Italy: a multicenter study|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|