Toxoplasmosis is one the most important zoonotic disease that is transmitted by cats. The pregnant women and people with suppression of immune system, especially those living with HIV/AIDS are more susceptible to Toxoplasmosis. This lead to, the public health care service provider in the society educate people about this disease to minimize exposure and its affect on people.
Toxoplasmosis is caused by a protozoan parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. The parasite multiplies in the intestines of he cat and is shed in their feces. The parasitologic diagnosis of the disease has some difficulties due to periodic shedding of the oocysts in feces and their relative small size.
Materials and methods
In this experiment, as a first study in Iran ELISA method was used to determine the amount of IgM and IgG antibodies in the three different populations of the cat's blood samples including:
Domestic cats that were referred to small animal hospital, veterinary faculty of Tehran University.
Urban Stray Cats that were captured from different locations of Tehran (capital city of Iran).
Rural stray cats that were captured from villages surrounding Tehran.
Serum IgG and IgM responses were studied by ELISA kits that were setup by parasitology department of Colorado University. The analytical studies were performed using Chi square method.
Based on results of the study 88.8 % of the animals had IgG titer against Toxoplasma gondii. IgM responses were also positive in 87.3% of the cats and in 83.6% both IgG and IgM were positive simultaneously.
There wasn't any significant difference between stray and domestic animals from the site of their response to toxoplasmosis and many of them were positive serologically. Furthermore the results of the study showed a direct relationship between age and anti-toxoplasmal titers. It means that as age of cat increases, there is more chance for cat to become infected with the toxoplasma organism. Anti-toxoplasma titers were different in the animals and in some of them titers as high as 1/32768 was measured.
In conclusion many of the animals in the study showed serological responsiveness against toxoplasmosis. It doesn't mean that they are sick or active phase of oocyst shedding are happening on them, but it may show the importance of their hygienic role in contamination of environment because most of these cats had excreted oocysts sometimes in their life and contaminated the environment. On the other hand these cats have a lower risk in shedding of oocyst because of their induced immunity in relation with past contamination.
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