Antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in Backyard and Wandering Pigs in Ibadan, Nigeria: Implications for Pork Consumption
Toxoplasma gondii the etiologic agent of Toxoplasmosis can be transmitted to the pigs through the ingestion of oocyst, and to humans through the consumption of pork containing viable cysts causing neonatal deaths and abortion in animals, and opportunistic infection in immunocompromised humans. The objective of this study was to investigate the occurrence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in backyard and wandering pigs slaughtered for human consumption in Ibadan, Southwestern Nigeria. Serum samples were collected from 100 pigs and tested for the presence of IgG Toxoplasma gondii-specific antibodies using a commercially available ELISA kit. The overall frequency of IgG antibodies to T. gondii was 25%, More antibodies were detected in exotic breeds (31.5%) than the local breed (20%), and in pigs raised under the free-range (35.7%) than backyard (20.8%) management systems. The result of this survey showed that animal raised from both backyard and free-range source are exposed to T. gondii infection, and suggests that the consumption of pork from both sources may be a risk factor for human infection with T. gondii.
Keywords: Toxoplasmosis; Toxoplasma gondii; Wandering Pigs; Backyard Pigs; Pork.