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Prevalence and risk factors for toxoplasmosis in pigs and characterization of natural evolution of infection in a pig model

Abstract : The parasite from the phylum Apicomplexa, Toxoplasma gondii is adapted for infection of all warm-blooded animals including humans. Postnatal infection occurs through ingestion of i) tissue cysts present in muscles of infected animals, or ii) environmentally resistant forms - oocysts via contaminated water, fruits and vegetables. Disease is generally benign, but infection may have serious consequences for the developing foetus in the case of maternal infection in pregnancy and in immunosuppressed individuals. Along with sheep and poultry, T. gondii parasites are mostly isolated from pig meat. In intensive systems with various levels of confinement, intensity of T. gondii infection is still considerably lower than in outdoor or organic farms throughout Europe. Poor rodent control and presence of cats on intensive farms are major sources of T. gondii infection for pig. When straw is used for bedding, it can contain oocysts or even rodent carcasses, and if the food silos or distributers are opened, pig nutrition can be contaminated. In contrast to intensive farming, in outdoor and organic farms, pigs are exposed to environmental T. gondii contamination through soil, food, and water sources. So far, routine surveillance of pigs for T. gondii infection has not been established anywhere in the World, neither in the slaughterhouse nor on the farm-levels. Thus the sources of pig infection on the farms are still unknown. Moreover, it is unknown how big the role of the meat from T. gondii infected pigs is in human nutrition...
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Vitomir Djokic. Prevalence and risk factors for toxoplasmosis in pigs and characterization of natural evolution of infection in a pig model. Parasitology. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI; Univerzitet u Beogradu, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016PA066097⟩. ⟨tel-01736433⟩

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