Seroprevalence and risk factors associated with Toxoplasma gondii in domestic pigs from Spain

Ignacio García-Bocanegra, Meritxell Simon-Grifé, Jitender P. Dubey, Jordi Casal, Gerard E. Martín, Oscar Cabezón, Anselmo Perea, Sonia Almería

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Serum samples from 2970 (1400 sows, 1570 fattening) pigs, from 100 farms in the 10 main swine production regions in Spain were tested for antibodies against T. gondii by the modified agglutination test (MAT). Antibodies to T. gondii (MAT 1:25 or higher) were detected in 492 pigs (16.6%, 9.7% in fattening pigs and 24.2% in sows). The herd prevalence was 85.0% (95% CI: 78-92) and within-farm prevalence ranged from 2.9% to 92.8% (median = 17.6%). Statistically significant differences were observed among sampling regions with seroprevalence significantly higher in pigs from Valencia Community (27.3%), Extremadura (23.3%) and Catalonia (21.2%). A generalized estimating equations model indicated that the risk factors associated with T. gondii seroprevalence were: age, sows compared to fattening pigs (OR = 2.9; 95% CI = 1.83-4.53), lack of rodent control (OR = 1.9; 95% CI = 1.04-3.60) and presence of cats (OR = 1.6; 95% CI = 1.12-2.34). The seroprevalence observed in the present study indicates a widespread, although variable, exposure to T. gondii among domestic pigs in Spain, which might have important implications for public health. Management measures including control of rodents and cats on the farms could help to reduce the observed prevalence levels in Spain. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-426
JournalParasitology International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2010


  • Domestic pigs
  • MAT
  • Risk factors
  • Seroprevalence
  • Spain
  • Toxoplasma gondii


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