Seroprevalence and risk factors of Neospora spp. and Toxoplasma gondii infections among horses and donkeys in Nigeria, West Africa
Neospora spp. and Toxoplasma gondii are considered to be a globally distributed parasites affecting wide range of warmblooded animals. Neosporosis has caused clinical illness in horses and consumption of horse meat has been epidemiologically linked to clinical toxoplasmosis in humans. This study was conducted to determine Neospora spp. and T. gondii antibodies and risk factors of infection in horses and donkeys from three states of Nigeria. A total of 144 samples were collected from clinically healthy animals (120 horses and 24 donkeys). The sera were tested for antibodies to Neospora spp. and T. gondii by indirect fluorescence antibody test, a titer ≥ 50 was considered positive. Seroprevalence data were statistically analyzed, considering the variables of gender, age, use, state, origin of breed and type of management. Antibodies to Neospora spp. and T. gondii were detected in 8% horses with titers 50 and in 24% horses with titers 50–800, respectively. Co-infection of both parasites was proved in three horses (3%). Statistical differences were found only for T. gondii seroprevalence in horses with different use, locality, origin and management (p-value ≤ 0.05). Antibodies to T. gondii were detected in four (17%) of 24 donkeys with statistical difference (p-value ≤ 0.05) in animals of different use; antibodies to Neospora spp. were not proved in any of the donkeys. This is the first seroprevalence study of Neospora spp. and T. gondii in equids from Nigeria.
KeywordsEquus caballus Equus asinus IFAT neosporosis toxoplasmosis
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