Parasitology. 2013 Oct 18:1-10. [Epub ahead of print]
Species or local environment, what determines the infection of rodents by Toxoplasma gondii?
Gotteland C, Chaval Y, Villena I, Galan M, Geers R, Aubert D, Poulle ML, Charbonnel N, Gilot-Fromont E.
SourceUniversité de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, Laboratoire de Parasitologie-Mycologie, EA 3800, UFR de Médecine, SFR Cap Santé FED 4231, 51 rue Cognacq-Jay, F-51096 Reims, France.
SUMMARY Toxoplasmosis is largely present in rural areas but its spatial distribution in this environment remains poorly known. In particular, it is unclear if areas of high density of cats, the only hosts excreting Toxoplasma gondii, constitute foci of high prevalence. To improve our understanding of the spatial distribution of T. gondii in rural areas, we performed a serological survey in rodents from two villages in France. We trapped 710 rodents including commensal rats and meadow or forest voles and mice. The presence of T. gondii was examined using PCR, mice inoculation and modified agglutination test for antibodies (MAT). We conducted multivariate and discriminant analyses to identify biological, ecological or spatial variables that could explain T. gondii serology in rodents. We then used a logistic regression to assess the relative influence of each explanatory variable. Overall seroprevalence was 4·1%. Commensal-rats were more infected (12·5%) than non-commensal species (3·7%). However, the major determinant of the risk of infection was the distance to the nearest farm (OR = 0·75 for 100 m), which explained the risk in all species or non-commensal species only. We contrast the role of species characteristics and that of the local environment, and discuss the risk of environmental contamination for humans.
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