A cross-sectional study was carried out on Spanish ibex populations in Southern Spain to assess the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum and to investigate the risk factors associated with these infections. Using the modified agglutination test, the seroprevalence to T. gondii was 27.5% (146/531; CI95%, 23.7-31.3), and this seropositivity significantly increased with age. Among adults, statistically significant differences were observed between geographical locations and over different sampling years. Thirty of 531 (5.6%) ibex had antibodies to N. caninum using a competitive ELISA, of which 27/30 (5.1%; CI95%, 3.1-7.1) were confirmed as seropositive by the indirect fluorescent antibody test. This study is the first to report the presence of N. caninum antibodies in Spanish ibex and also indicates widespread exposure of this species to T. gondii. The findings indicate that ibex are more exposed to T. gondii than to N. caninum in their natural environment and there is little evidence of co-infection with both parasites. The seroprevalence levels reported suggest a role for ibex in the sylvatic cycle of both parasites with potentially important environmental and public health implications. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Feb 2012|
- Iberian ibex