Survey of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii in human consumed ovine meat in Tunis City.
PLoS One. 2014;9(1):e85044
Authors: Boughattas S, Ayari K, Sa T, Aoun K, Bouratbine A
Toxoplasmosis has been recognized as parasitic zoonosis with the highest human incidence. The human infection by the parasite can lead to severe clinical manifestations in congenital toxoplasmosis and immunocompromised patients. Contamination occurs mainly by foodborne ways especially consumption of raw or undercooked meat. In contrast to other foodborne infections, toxoplasmosis is a chronic infection which would make its economic and social impact much higher than even previously anticipated. Ovine meat was advanced as a major risk factor, so we investigated its parasite survey, under natural conditions. Serological MAT technique and touchdown PCR approaches were used for prevalence determination of the parasite in slaughtered sheep intended to human consumption in Tunis City. The genotyping was carried by SNPs analysis of SAG3 marker. Anti-Toxoplasma antibodies were present in 38.2% of young sheep and in 73.6% of adult sheep. Molecular detection revealed the contamination of 50% of ewes’ tissue. Sequencing and SNPs analysis enabled unambiguous typing of meat isolates and revealed the presence of mixed strains as those previously identified from clinical samples in the same area. Our findings conclude that slaughtered sheep are highly infected, suggesting them as a major risk factor of Toxoplasma gondii transmission by meat consumption. Special aware should target consequently this factor when recommendations have to be established by the health care commanders.
PMID: 24427300 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]