Risk factors associated to Toxoplasma gondii infection in dairy farms in Hamedan suburb, Iran

  • Jamal GharekhaniEmail author
  • Mohammad Yakhchali
Original Article


Toxoplasmosis is a zoonotic food-borne disease with global distribution. The principal aim of this research was to detect the seroprevalence of T. gondii infection in cattle, dogs and cats in dairy farms with high incidence of abortion, as well as to identify associated risk factors in Hamedan, Iran. A number of four large dairy farms with high history of abortion were selected and evaluated for risk factors associated to T. gondii infection. Blood samples were taken from 400 of pregnant cattle, 85 of dogs and 35 of cats (all of the dogs and cats population from interring and around of farms were sampled). The samples were examined for presence of antibodies to T. gondii infection using ELISA technique. Seroprevalence of T. gondii infection were detected 13% in cattle, 47.1% in dogs and 40% in cats. With regard to cattle seropositivity and associated risk factors, significant differences were found regarding abortion history (P = 0.026), race (P = 0.035), rodents’ presence in farm (P = 0.006) and age groups (P = 0.011). Also, there were no significant differences between seroprevalence rate and stage of gestation (P = 0.998), type of breeding service (P = 0.561), stillbirth history (P = 0.302), dog contact with herd (P = 0.302) as well as poultry presence in the farm (P = 0.302). In both dogs and cats, the seroprevalence rate for females was higher than males (P < 0.05); also, no significant differences were seen in age groups (P > 0.05). This is the comprehensive evaluation of risk factors associated to toxoplasmosis in Iranian dairy farms at the first time. Our finding indicated that toxoplasmosis may partly be responsible for transmission to humans and also abortion and economic losses in dairy farms. Improve the sanitary strategies for reducing the risk factors in animals’ husbandry and launching control programs are recommended.


Toxoplasmosis Animal Serology Risk factor Abortion Iran 



The authors greatly appreciated staff members of Hamedan Veterinary office for sampling and serological examination.

Authors’ contributions

JG designed the study, sampling, laboratory techniques, data analysis and writing the paper. MY helped for designing the study and writing of manuscript. All authors reviewed the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

We hereby declare all ethical standards have been respected in preparation of the submitted article. Ethical approval for the current investigation was duly obtained from the Institutional Animal Ethics and Research Committee of Iranian Veterinary Organization (IVO, Iran), Hamedan office (Certificate No. 1397.4.1). In the studied animals (cattle, dogs and cats), some of dogs and all of cattle population on dairy farms have owner; the consents of owners are documented and available (in local language).


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Copyright information

© Indian Society for Parasitology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUrmia UniversityUrmiaIran
  2. 2.Department of Laboratory Sciences, Central Veterinary LaboratoryIranian Veterinary OrganizationHamedanIran

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