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Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii among Sylvatic Rodents in Poland

Department of Tropical Parasitology, Institute of Maritime and Tropical Medicine, Medical University of Gdansk, Powstania Styczniowego 9B, 81-519 Gdynia, Poland
Institute of Parasitology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, 040 01 Košice, Slovakia
Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, 02-106 Warsaw, Poland
Department of Eco-Epidemiology of Parasitic Diseases, Institute of Developmental Biology and Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw, Miecznikowa, 02-096 Warsaw, Poland
Department of Forest Phytopathology, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Poznan University of Life Sciences, 60-637 Poznan, Poland
Department of Zoology and Animal Ecology, Faculty of Environmental Biology, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, 20-950 Lublin, Poland
School of Life Sciences, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Mathew Crowther
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1048;
Received: 20 February 2021 / Revised: 24 March 2021 / Accepted: 2 April 2021 / Published: 8 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Wildlife)
Toxoplasma gondii is a significant pathogen affecting humans and animals. Rodents are known to be reservoir hosts of T. gondii and therefore play a significant role in the dissemination of this parasite. We conducted seromonitoring for T. gondii in four sylvatic rodent species in Poland. We report an overall seroprevalence of 5.5% (3.6% for Myodes glareolus and 20% for other vole species). Seroprevalence in bank voles varied significantly between host age and sex. Our results, therefore, make a significant contribution to the understanding of the role of wild rodent populations in the maintenance and dissemination of T. gondii and identify key factors that affect the magnitude of seroprevalence in specific host populations.
Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular Apicomplexan parasite with a broad range of intermediate hosts, including humans and rodents. Rodents are considered to be reservoirs of infection for their predators, including cats, felids, pigs, and wild boars. We conducted a multi-site, long-term study on T. gondii in northeastern Poland. The study aimed to monitor the seroprevalence of T. gondii in the four abundant vole species found in the region (Myodes glareolus, Microtus arvalis, Microtus agrestis, and Alexandromys oeconomus) and to assess the influence of both extrinsic (year of study and study site) and intrinsic (host sex and host age) factors on seroprevalence. A bespoke enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to detect antibodies against T. gondii. We examined 577 rodent individuals and detected T. gondii antibodies in the sera of all four rodent species with an overall seroprevalence of 5.5% [4.2–7.3] (3.6% [2.6–4.9] for M. glareolus and 20% [12–30.9] for M. arvalis, M. agrestis, and A. oeconomus). Seroprevalence in bank voles varied significantly between host age and sex. Seroprevalence increased with host age and was higher in females than males. These results contribute to our understanding of the distribution and abundance of T. gondii in voles in Poland and confirm that T. gondii also circulates in M. glareolus and M. arvalis, M. agrestis and A. oeconomus. Therefore, they may potentially play a role as reservoirs of this parasite in the sylvatic environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: Toxoplasma gondii; rodents; seromonitoring; rodent-borne diseases; prevention Toxoplasma gondii; rodents; seromonitoring; rodent-borne diseases; prevention
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MDPI and ACS Style

Grzybek, M.; Antolová, D.; Tołkacz, K.; Alsarraf, M.; Behnke-Borowczyk, J.; Nowicka, J.; Paleolog, J.; Biernat, B.; Behnke, J.M.; Bajer, A. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii among Sylvatic Rodents in Poland. Animals 2021, 11, 1048.

AMA Style

Grzybek M, Antolová D, Tołkacz K, Alsarraf M, Behnke-Borowczyk J, Nowicka J, Paleolog J, Biernat B, Behnke JM, Bajer A. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii among Sylvatic Rodents in Poland. Animals. 2021; 11(4):1048.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Grzybek, Maciej, Daniela Antolová, Katarzyna Tołkacz, Mohammed Alsarraf, Jolanta Behnke-Borowczyk, Joanna Nowicka, Jerzy Paleolog, Beata Biernat, Jerzy M. Behnke, and Anna Bajer. 2021. "Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii among Sylvatic Rodents in Poland" Animals 11, no. 4: 1048.

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