Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in clinically ill cats in the United States

Melissa R. Vollaire Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Steven V. Radecki Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
Present address is 150 N County Rd 3, Fort Collins, CO 80524-9204.

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Michael R. Lappin Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Abstract

Objective—To determine regional seroprevalence estimates of Toxoplasma gondii-specific IgM and IgG in clinically ill cats throughout the United States.

Sample Population—Sera from 12,628 clinically ill, client-owned cats.

ProcedureToxoplasma gondii-specific IgM and IgG antibodies were detected by use of ELISAs. Sera from clinically ill cats previously submitted for T gondii antibody testing were sequentially selected from our serum bank and the sample submission paperwork reviewed. The country was divided into 12 geographic regions. Overall prevalence as well as prevalence for each region, age group, season, sex (male vs female), and breed (domestic shorthair vs other) was calculated. Data were analyzed by logistic regression analysis.

Results—Overall, 31.6% of the cats were seropositive for T gondii-specific IgM, IgG, or both. Percentage of cats seropositive for T gondii antibodies ranged from 16.1% (southwestern United States) to 43.5% (northeastern United States). As age increased, odds of positive T gondii antibody assay results (IgM alone, IgG alone, and any combination of IgM or IgG) increased. Males were more likely than females to be seropositive for T gondii antibodies (IgG alone and any combination of IgM or IgG). Domestic shorthair cats were more likely than other breeds to be seropositive for T gondii antibodies (IgM alone, IgG alone, and any combination of IgM or IgG).

Conclusions and Clinical RelevanceToxoplasma gondii-specific antibodies are common in serum samples of clinically ill cats from all regions of the United States. Seroprevalence increases as cats age and is higher in male and domestic shorthair cats, compared with females and other breeds. (Am J Vet Res 2005; 66:874–877)

Abstract

Objective—To determine regional seroprevalence estimates of Toxoplasma gondii-specific IgM and IgG in clinically ill cats throughout the United States.

Sample Population—Sera from 12,628 clinically ill, client-owned cats.

ProcedureToxoplasma gondii-specific IgM and IgG antibodies were detected by use of ELISAs. Sera from clinically ill cats previously submitted for T gondii antibody testing were sequentially selected from our serum bank and the sample submission paperwork reviewed. The country was divided into 12 geographic regions. Overall prevalence as well as prevalence for each region, age group, season, sex (male vs female), and breed (domestic shorthair vs other) was calculated. Data were analyzed by logistic regression analysis.

Results—Overall, 31.6% of the cats were seropositive for T gondii-specific IgM, IgG, or both. Percentage of cats seropositive for T gondii antibodies ranged from 16.1% (southwestern United States) to 43.5% (northeastern United States). As age increased, odds of positive T gondii antibody assay results (IgM alone, IgG alone, and any combination of IgM or IgG) increased. Males were more likely than females to be seropositive for T gondii antibodies (IgG alone and any combination of IgM or IgG). Domestic shorthair cats were more likely than other breeds to be seropositive for T gondii antibodies (IgM alone, IgG alone, and any combination of IgM or IgG).

Conclusions and Clinical RelevanceToxoplasma gondii-specific antibodies are common in serum samples of clinically ill cats from all regions of the United States. Seroprevalence increases as cats age and is higher in male and domestic shorthair cats, compared with females and other breeds. (Am J Vet Res 2005; 66:874–877)

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