Serological survey for anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in sheep of northeastern Algeria

Abstract

Although T. gondii is of considerable both public and veterinary importance worldwide, studies on its existence in sheep in Algeria, either through serology and or parasitology is scarce. To this end, a cross-sectional study was carried out in Tébessa, an Algerian eastern province, to, firstly, investigate the seroprevalence of T. gondii infection in sheep and, secondly, determine the potential risk factors that may be associated with seropositivity. A total of 376 serum samples from 39 flocks, collected between September 2015 and October 2017, were tested for anti-T.gondii antibodies via the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay technique (ELISA). A T. gondii seroprevalence of 35.37% (95% CI 30.54–40.21%) was recorded, and 84.61% (95% CI 73.29–95.94%) of the flocks sampled had, at least, one seropositive animal. The multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that abortion during the latest pregnancy (OR = 1.56; 95% CI 1.02–2.44; p = 0.05), presence of goats in sheep flocks (OR = 1.76; 95% CI 1.04–2.98; p = 0.037), and the sampling period were the variables significantly associated with seropositivity. The present study reports, for the first time in this part of Algeria, the seroprevalence of T. gondii infection and bears out the highly dissemination capacity of the parasite. This is of a great importance for veterinarians in charge of veterinary public health, veterinary practitioners, and breeders in order to improve the control and prophylactic measures of toxoplasmosis. Nevertheless, further study should be conducted to explore the impact of the parasite on public and animal health.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge the staff of the National Center for Biotechnology Research – Constantine (CRBt), for conducting the reading of ELISA results. We are thankful to the veterinarians and breeders for their kind cooperation during the collection of blood samples.

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Correspondence to Amar Benlakehal.

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As only blood samples were collected from the sheep, a safe and not really exhaustive animal manipulation for it is usually performed for disease serological routine detection, the ethical approval was not required.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Benlakehal, A., Miroud, K., Djeghim, H. et al. Serological survey for anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in sheep of northeastern Algeria. Trop Anim Health Prod 51, 2227–2233 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-019-01921-2

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Keywords

  • Toxoplasma gondii
  • Sheep
  • Tébessa
  • Algeria
  • ELISA
  • Risk factors