Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in Iberian pig sows
The objective of the present study was to investigate the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in Iberian sows reared in extensive and intensive management conditions and to compare two serologic techniques used for diagnosis. In addition, some possible risk factors associated with the presence of serum antibodies to T. gondii were also studied. Serum samples were collected from 2492 Iberian sows on 14 pig farms. Three types of management systems were included, traditional extensive outdoor farms (five farms), intensive farms with outdoor access (n = 4), and conventional intensive indoor farms (n = 5). The presence of serum antibodies to T. gondii was evaluated by two commercially available tests: an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and a direct agglutination test (DAT). Serum antibodies against T. gondii were detected in 237 sows (9.5%) by at least one of the techniques used. The mean seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis in Iberian sows was 5.8% by ELISA and 8.9% by DAT. An agreement kappa-value of 0.68 (95%, CI = 0.63–0.74) was found between both tests. The results from this study suggest that the prevalence of T. gondii antibodies among Iberian sows seems to be moderate-low. The presence of serum antibodies against T. gondii in Iberian sows was associated to an extensive management system and low-level facilities of the farm, sow number (> 1000 animals), presence of cats, absence of rodent control and bird-proof nets in windows, well-water source, feed sources and storage (from the same farm and not stored in silo), absence of fences, and low farm worker qualification.
KeywordsSeroprevalence Epidemiology Risk factors Toxoplasma gondii Pig Iberian sow
The work was funded by a grant from CAM-UCM (project CCG08-UCM/AGR-3821).
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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