Toxoplasmosis is a worldwide spread, zoonotic infectious disease caused by the parasitic agent Toxoplasma gondii. The pathogen is transferred to humans among other ways by eating raw pork. Serological tests can be used to detect Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in pig herds and can consequently be helpful to identify potentially contaminated pork. The aim of this study was to test serum samples of naturally exposed slaughter pigs for the presence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies with three different commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) compared to a modified agglutination test (MAT) as reference test. In this study, serum samples of 1.368 naturally exposed pigs from 73 Austrian pig farms were collected. 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 (k), was substantial between the MAT and ELISA I (k =0.62), II (k = 0.64) and III (k = 0.67). 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 and/or pigs with a high positive value in the serological test have been detected positive by all of the four used serological tests. Concerning the occurrence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in Austrian pigs, a monitoring and surveillance programme would be reasonable to find high-risk farms.
toxoplasmosis / swine / agglutination test / ELISA / monitoring