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A multi-event capture-recapture analysis of Toxoplasma gondii seroconversion dynamics in farm cats

Abstract : Background: Domestic cats play a key role in the epidemiology of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii by excreting environmentally-resistant oocysts that may infect humans and other warm-blooded animals. The dynamics of Toxoplasma gondii seroconversion, used as a proxy for primo-infection dynamics, was investigated in five cat populations living on farms. Methods: Serological tests on blood samples from cats were performed every three months over a period of two years, for a total of 400 serological tests performed on 130 cats. Variations in seroconversion rates and associated factors were investigated using a multi-event capture-recapture modelling approach that explicitly accounted for uncertainties in cat age and serological status. Results: Seroprevalence varied between farms, from 15 to 73%, suggesting differential exposure of cats to T. gondii. In farms with high exposure, cats could become infected before reaching the age of six months. Seroconversion rates varied from 0.42 to 0.96 seroconversions per cat per year and were higher in autumn and winter than in spring and summer. Conclusion: Our results suggest inter-farm and seasonal variations in the risks of exposure to T. gondii oocysts for humans and livestock living on farms. The paper also discusses the role of young cats in the maintenance of environmental contamination by T. gondii oocysts on farms.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01911552
Contributor : Roger Pradel <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, June 8, 2021 - 10:26:49 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, June 10, 2021 - 5:07:21 PM

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Julie Alice Simon, Roger Pradel, Dominique Aubert, Régine Geers, Isabelle Villena, et al.. A multi-event capture-recapture analysis of Toxoplasma gondii seroconversion dynamics in farm cats. Parasites and Vectors, BioMed Central, 2018, 11, pp.339. ⟨10.1186/s13071-018-2834-4⟩. ⟨hal-01911552⟩

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