Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in Galapagos birds: Inference of risk factors associated with diet

Fecha de publicación: 05/07/2023
Fuente: PubMed "booby"
PLoS One. 2023 Jul 5;18(7):e0287403. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0287403. eCollection 2023.ABSTRACTToxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic intracellular parasite of particular concern in the conservation of wildlife due to its ability to infect all homeotherms and potentially cause acute fatal disease in naive species. In the Galapagos (Ecuador), an archipelago composed of more than a hundred islets and islands, the presence of T. gondii can be attributed to human-introduced domestic cats, but little is known about its transmission in wildlife populations. We compared the prevalence of antibodies against T. gondii in sympatric Galapagos wild bird species that differ in diet and contact with oocyst-contaminated soil to determine the relative importance of trophic habits as an exposure factor. Plasma samples were obtained from 163 land birds inhabiting Santa Cruz, one of the cat-inhabited islands, and from 187 seabirds breeding in cat-free surrounding islands (Daphne Major, North Seymour, and South Plaza). These samples were tested for the presence of T. gondii antibodies using the modified agglutination test (MAT ≥ 1:10). All seven species of land birds and 4/6 species of seabirds presented seropositive results. All great frigatebirds (Fregata minor) (N = 25) and swallow-tailed gulls (Creagrus furcatus) (N = 23) were seronegative. Prevalence ranged from 13% in Nazca boobies (Sula granti) to 100% in Galapagos mockingbirds (Mimus parvulus). It decreased from occasional carnivores (63.43%) to granivores-insectivores (26.22%), and strict piscivores (14.62%). These results indicate that the consumption of tissue cysts poses the highest risk of exposure to T. gondii for Galapagos birds, followed by the ingestion of plants and insects contaminated by oocysts as important transmission pathways.PMID:37405972 | PMC:PMC10321649 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0287403