Presence of Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum DNA in the brain of wild birds

L. Darwich, O. Cabezón, I. Echeverria, M. Pabón, I. Marco, R. Molina-López, O. Alarcia-Alejos, F. López-Gatius, S. Lavín, S. Almería

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


Toxoplasma gondii infections are prevalent in many avian species and can cause mortality in some bird hosts. Although T. gondii has been isolated from various species of birds, the role of many different species of wild birds in the epidemiology of T. gondii remains unknown. Neospora caninum, a closely related parasite to T. gondii, has been recently confirmed to infect domestic chickens and wild birds such as house sparrows (Passer domesticus). The present study reports the presence of T. gondii and N. caninum DNA by PCR in brain tissues of 14 species of wild birds from Spain. From a total of 200 samples analyzed, 12 samples (6%) were positive for T. gondii [5 Eurasian jays (Garrulus glandarius), 5 magpies (Pica pica), 1 black kite (Milvus migrans) and 1 Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus)], while 3 samples (1.5%) were positive for N. caninum [2 magpies and 1 common buzzard (Buteo buteo)]. This is the first report of detection of T. gondii in magpies, griffon vulture and black kite and of N. caninum in common buzzard and magpies, extending the list of natural intermediate hosts for T. gondii and N. caninum infections to these species. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-381
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2012


  • Natural intermediate hosts
  • Neospora caninum
  • PCR
  • Toxoplasma gondii
  • Wildbirds


Dive into the research topics of 'Presence of Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum DNA in the brain of wild birds'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this