An Antibody-Based Survey of Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum Infection in Client-Owned Cats from Portugal

Maria Aires Pereira, Carmen Nóbrega, Teresa L. Mateus, Daniela Almeida, Andreia Oliveira, Catarina Coelho, Rita Cruz, Paula Oliveira, Ana Faustino-Rocha, Maria J. Pires, João R. Mesquita, Helena Vala

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Abstract

Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum are obligate intracellular protozoan parasites infecting a wide range of hosts worldwide. However, information on the epidemiology of toxoplasmosis and neosporosis in cats from Portugal is limited. Thus, this study aims to evaluate anti-T. gondii and anti-N. caninum seroprevalence in client-owned cats from Portugal and to identify risk factors using a panel of well-characterized sera. A total of 183 domestic cats were sampled and screened for antibodies against T. gondii and N. caninum using commercial ELISA assays, and their owners answered an online questionnaire designed to obtain background information. The overall anti-T. gondii and anti-N. caninum seroprevalences were 13.1% (CI: 8.97–18.77) and 3.8% (CI: 1.87–7.68), respectively. Univariate analysis revealed that living strictly indoors was a significant protection factor (cOR: 0.053; CI: 0.005–0.627), and the presence of a chronic disease a significant risk factor (cOR: 3.106; CI: 1.062–9.082) to T. gondii seroprevalence. When performing multivariate analysis, only chronic disease (aOR: 57.527; CI: 1.7–1976.7) and seropositivity to N. caninum (aOR: 7.929; CI:0.8–82.9) were found to be a significant risk factor to anti-T. gondii antibodies. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of N. caninum seropositivity in cats from Portugal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2327
JournalAnimals
Volume13
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

Keywords

  • Felis catus
  • neosporosis
  • risk factors
  • seroprevalence
  • toxoplasmosis

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