Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and potential risk factors in domestic pigs in Oyo State, southwestern Nigeria
Toxoplasma gondii infection is important in pigs and humans may get infected through the consumption of undercooked infected pork. This study conducted in Oyo state, Nigeria for 15 months (between February, 2012 and April, 2013) investigated the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in pigs reared on farms and also identified putative risk factors for the infection. Antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii were determined in 386 domestic pigs using the ELISA test based on TgSAG1, a major surface antigen of T. gondii tachyzoites. Of the 386 pigs sampled, T. gondii antibodies were found in 163 (42%) of the pigs. Risk factor analysis showed that exposure to T. gondii infection was significantly associated with supplying pigs with water from wells or streams (P<0.001), presence of ruminants on farm (P<0.001), large herd size (P<0.005), and locating a piggery near refuse dump (OR 10.38 [95% CI 2.33 – 46.35]). There was no observed association between presence of farm cats, cemented floors, backyard farming and feeding of concentrates with T. gondii infection. The results showed that management systems as well as the environment where farms are located are important consideration for the control of T. gondii infection.
Keywords: Toxoplasma gondii, Pigs, Pork, Zoonoses, Nigeria