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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2015

Authors: Steinparzer, R; Reisp, K; Grünberger, B; Köfer, J; Schmoll, F; Sattler, T

Title: Comparison of different commercial serological tests for the detection of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in serum of naturally exposed pigs.

Source: Zoonoses Public Health. 2015; 62(2):119-124

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Köfer Josef
Schmoll Friedrich

Vetmed Research Units
Institute of Food Safety, Food Technology and Veterinary Public Health, Unit of Veterinary Public Health and Epidemiology

Toxoplasma gondii is the aetiological agent of the zoonotic disease toxoplasmosis and transmitted among other ways by chemically and physically untreated, that is, raw pork to humans. The detection of Toxoplasma gondii is impossible by currently practiced meat inspection, but serological tests can be used to detect Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in pig herds and can consequently be helpful to identify potentially contaminated pork. Therefore, appropriate serological tests are required. In this study, serum samples of 1368 naturally exposed slaughter pigs from 73 Austrian farms were collected. Serum samples of at least 16 slaughter pigs per farm were tested. The prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in serum was measured by a commercial available modified agglutination test (MAT) and compared to three different commercial available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). The MAT detected 6.5%, ELISA I 6.7%, ELISA II 4.8% and ELISA III 4.3% of the pigs as Toxoplasma gondii antibody positive. The agreement, according to the kappa coefficient (κ), was substantial between the MAT and ELISA I (κ = 0.62), II (κ = 0.64) and III (κ = 0.67). A better agreement was determined between ELISA I and II (κ = 0.715), ELISA I and III (κ = 0.747) and ELISA II and III (κ = 0.865). At least one pig per farm was detected Toxoplasma gondii antibody positive in 17 (23.3%) farms by the MAT, 26 (35.6%) farms by ELISA I, 16 (21.9%) farms by ELISA II and 11 (15.1%) farms by ELISA III. Pig farms with a high number of Toxoplasma gondii antibody-positive pigs or high antibody titres were identified by all of the four used serological tests. Concerning the occurrence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in Austrian pig farms, a monitoring and surveillance programme would be reasonable to find high-risk farms.

Keywords Pubmed: Animals
Antibodies, Protozoan/blood*
Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
Seroepidemiologic Studies
Serologic Tests/veterinary*
Swine Diseases/blood*
Swine Diseases/diagnosis
Swine Diseases/epidemiology
Swine Diseases/parasitology
Toxoplasmosis, Animal/blood*
Toxoplasmosis, Animal/diagnosis
Toxoplasmosis, Animal/epidemiology

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