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  • Author: S. Špilovská x
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Abstract

We tested the sera or meat juices of 215 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), collected during 2009-2014 at different localities of Eastern Slovakia for the presence of anti- Toxoplasma and anti-Neospora antibodies. We also examined the brains or muscle tissues and uncoagulated blood samples for the presence of both parasite’s DNA. The mean seropositivity to T. gondii was 72.6% (95% Confidence Interval CI 66.1-78.4) and to N. caninum 33.9% (95% CI 27.7-40.7). We observed higher Toxoplasmaseropositivity in adults (71.1%) than in juveniles (60.0%). Neospora-seropositivity was almost the same in both age groups about of 30%. In general, we observed less frequently the DNA of parasites, T. gondii (14.5%) and N. caninum (20.3%) in the tissue samples and uncoagulated blood samples. Coccidioses are considerably common in red foxes and circulate in locations of Eastern Slovakia. The high infection rate in foxes is probably due to their infected prey. On the other hand, the contamination of the environment with oocysts and their subsequent transfer to other farm and wild animals is also possible.

Abstract

The study aimed to estimate the role of small rodents in the circulation of larval toxocarosis in light of their different habitats. From 2005 to 2008, a total of 1523 small rodents, belonging to 11 species, were captured in 5 different habitats of Slovakia. Anti-Toxocara antibodies were detected in 6.6 % animals. The dominant reservoirs of toxocarosis were striped-field mouse Apodemus agrarius (11.7 %) and mound-building mouse Mus spicilegus (10.7 %), while the seropositivity of voles was low. Sexually active adults were infected more frequently (10.8%) in comparison with inactive ones (5.2 %). According to habitats, seroprevalence of toxocarosis in windbreaks (2.4 %) was significantly lower (p < 0.05) than in agrocoenoses (6.7 %), alluvia (8.5 %) and ecotones (7.5 %). Log-linear analysis performed in A. agrarius indicates that type of habitat and sexual activity affect the seropositivity to Toxocara infection. The highest seroprevalence was observed in alluvium (21.2 %) while the lowest in windbreak (1.8 %) (χ2 = 17.232, p < 0.001) and sexually active mice were characterised by 22.5 % and sexually inactive by 6.4 % seroprevalence (χ2 = 30.634, p < 0.001). The occurrence pattern of toxocarosis in small rodents suggests that they are permanent reservoirs for Toxocara spp. in nature and significant indicators of Toxocara egg contamination in environs.