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Environmental determinants of spatial and temporal variations in the transmission of Toxoplasma gondii in its definitive hosts.

Abstract : Toxoplasmosis is a major zoonosis, and its prevention requires multiple approaches due to the complex life-cycle of its causative agent, Toxoplasma gondii. Environmental contamination by oocysts is a key factor in the transmission of T. gondii to both humans and meat-producing animals; however, its spatial and temporal variations are poorly understood. We analysed the distribution of T. gondii seropositivity in a sample of 210 cats, including the European wildcat (Felis silvestris silvestris), the domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus) and their hybrids that were collected in Central and Eastern France between 1996 and 2006. We searched for spatial variability among communes and temporal variations among years to relate this variability to landscape and meteorological conditions, which can affect the population dynamics of rodent hosts and the survival of oocysts. The overall seroprevalence was 65.2% (95% CI: 58.6-71.4). As expected, adults were more often infected than young individuals, while the occurrence of infection was not related to cat genotypes. Seroprevalence correlated significantly with farm density and the North-Atlantic Oscillation index, which describes temporal variations of meteorological conditions at the continental scale. The highest seroprevalence values were obtained in areas with high farm densities and during years with cool and moist winters. These results suggest that both farming areas and years with cool and wet winters are associated with increased T. gondii seroprevalence in cats. As cat infection determines the environmental contamination by oocysts, climate and landscape characteristics should be taken into account to improve the risk analysis and prevention of T. gondii.
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Journal articles
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00972560
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Submitted on : Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 4:38:10 PM
Last modification on : Monday, February 10, 2020 - 4:36:56 PM

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Eve Afonso, Estelle Germain, Marie-Lazarine Poulle, Sandrine Ruette, Sébastien Devillard, et al.. Environmental determinants of spatial and temporal variations in the transmission of Toxoplasma gondii in its definitive hosts.. Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl, 2013, 2, pp.278-85. ⟨10.1016/j.ijppaw.2013.09.006⟩. ⟨hal-00972560⟩

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