Anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in mammals, birds and reptiles at the zoological-botanical park in João Pessoa, Paraíba, Brazil

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to verify the occurrence of anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in 51 wild animals at the Arruda Câmara Zoological-Botanical Park in João Pessoa, PB, Brazil. Blood samples from different bird, mammal and reptile species were analyzed using the Modified Agglutination Test (MAT) with a cut-off point of 1:25. Anti-T. gondii antibodies were detected in 62.4% of the 51 tested animals. The following frequencies were found: 68.9% (20/29) in mammals, 80% (8/10) in birds, and 33.3% (4/12) in reptiles. This paper reports for the first time the occurrence of anti-T. gondii antibodies in birds of the species Pionites leucogaster (caíque), Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus (hyacinth macaw), Pavo cristatus (Indian peafowl), Urubitinga urubitinga (Brazilian eagle), and Buteo melanoleucus (black-and-white hawk-eagle). Reptiles of the species Caiman crocodilus (spectacled caiman), Chelonoidis carbonaria (red-footed tortoise) and Paleosuchus palpebrosus (Cuvier’s dwarf caiman) were seropositive for T. gondii, although the significance of the presence of these anti-T. gondii antibodies in this group of animals requires a more in-depth study. We conclude that the frequency of antibodies found in the animals of this zoo is high and that the prophylactic measures that aim to diminish the environmental contamination by oocysts are necessary.