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High prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in dogs in Veracruz, Mexico

Cosme Alvarado-Esquivel16*, Dora Romero-Salas2, Anabel Cruz-Romero2, Zeferino García-Vázquez3, Álvaro Peniche-Cardeña2, Nelly Ibarra-Priego2, Concepción Ahuja-Aguirre2, Adalberto A Pérez-de-León4 and Jitender P Dubey5

Author Affiliations

1 Biomedical Research Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine and Nutrition, Juárez University of Durango State, Avenida Universidad S/N, Durango, 34000, Mexico

2 Laboratorio de Parasitología, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Veracruzana, Circunvalación y Yáñez S/N, Xapala 91710, Veracruz, Mexico

3 Centro Nacional de Investigación Disciplinaria en Parasitología Veterinaria, INIFAP. Carretera Federal Cuernavaca-Cuautla No. 8534, Jiutepec, C.P. 6225, Morelos, México

4 United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Knipling-Bushland U.S. Livestock Insects Research Laboratory, 2700 Fredericksburg Road, Kerrville 78028, Texas, USA

5 United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory, Building 1001, Beltsville 20705-2350, Maryland, USA

6 Laboratorio de Investigación Biomédica, Facultad de Medicina y Nutrición, Avenida Universidad S/N, Durango, 34000, Dgo, Mexico

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BMC Veterinary Research 2014, 10:191  doi:10.1186/s12917-014-0191-x

Published: 20 August 2014



Little is known concerning the prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in dogs in Mexico. Here, we investigated antibodies to T. gondii and associated risk factors in 101 dogs from an animal shelter in Veracruz State, Mexico. Canine sera were assayed for T. gondii IgG antibodies by using the modified agglutination test (MAT, cut off 1:25).


Sixty eight (67.3%) of 101 dogs were seropositive with titers of 1:25 in 16, 1:50 in 8, 1:100 in 9, 1:200 in 10, 1:400 in 10, 1:800 in 10, 1:1600 in 3, and 1:3200 or higher in 2. None of the dogs’ characteristics studied including age, sex, breed, and history of deworming, rabies vaccination and contact with cats was associated with seroprevalence of T. gondii infection.


Using the dogs as sentinel animals, the results indicate high contamination with T. gondii of the environment in Veracruz, Mexico. Results have public health implications, and further studies in Veracruz should be conducted to establish the sources of environmental contamination with T. gondii and to determine optimal preventive measures against T. gondii infection in humans.

Toxoplasma gondii; Dogs; Modified agglutination test; Antibodies; Prevalence; Mexico