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Ovine and Caprine Toxoplasmosis: Experimental Study
Shawkat Q. Lafi1*, Nektarios D. Giadinis2, Elias Papadopoulos3, George Filioussis4 and Asimakis Koutsoumpas5
1Department of Veterinary Pathology and Public Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan; 2Clinic of Farm Animals, 3Laboratory of Parasitology and Parasitic Diseases, 4Laboratory of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, School of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece; 5Private Veterinarian, Lidoriki Fokidas, Greece
*Corresponding author:


Eighteen mature ewes of the Mytilene breed and 18 mature Local- Damascus crossbred goats, seronegative for Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) by ELISA were used. All animals were mated after synchronization of estrus. On day 90 of pregnancy, animals were randomly assigned to 3 experimental groups; 6 ewes (S1) and 6 goats (G1) were orally inoculated by stomach tube with 1000 oocysts; 6 ewes (S2) and 6 goats (G2) were orally inoculated with a non-infected control inoculum. On day 140+2 of pregnancy, the remaining 6 ewes (S3) and 6 goats (G3) were inoculated by stomach tube with 3000 oocysts. Positive T. godii DNA was detected in 94% of fetal and maternal blood, 95% fetal tissue, 89% pre-colostral udder secretions and 12.5% milk samples using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Infected animals and their live newborns was seropositive (ELISA) until the end of the study. PCR was able to detect T. gondii DNA in maternal blood of infected animals 3-5 days before abortion occurred. This time period may be used to implement preventive and therapeutic measure to reduce abortion rate and associated economic losses.  Since milk and milk products are important food sources in rural areas and in many cases it is used unpasteurized before consumption. The T. gondii DNA, detected by PCR in milk samples of infected animals, increases the possibility that the parasite is transmitted through consumption of unpasteurized milk which is a highly relevant result for public health considerations and providing valuable information for future research.

Key words: Abortion, Goat, Sheep, Toxoplasmosis


ISSN 0253-8318 (Print)
ISSN 2074-7764 (Online)