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Seroepidemiological and biomolecular survey on Toxoplasma gondii in Sardinian wild boar (Sus scrofa).

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Sini, Maria Francesca 
Manconi, Maria 
Varcasia, Antonio 
Massei, Giovanna 
Sandu, Ramona 


Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic parasite able of infecting all warm-blooded animals. Toxoplasmosis is one of the major foodborne diseases globally. The consumption of wild boar (Sus scrofa) meat from recreational hunting has been linked to outbreaks of human toxoplasmosis. The island of Sardinia (Italy) contains a large wild boar population, thus providing an opportunity to assess the distribution of Toxoplasma in this species and the associated risks of transmission to humans. A total of 562 wild boars were screened: heart and meat juice samples were tested for T. gondii DNA via nested-PCR and IgG anti-Toxoplasma by commercial ELISA. Anti-Toxoplasma IgG were detected in 24.6% (138/562) of animals, while 37.2% (209/562) of the heart samples were PCR positive. The prevalence of T. gondii antibodies and DNA highlights the potential role of wild boar as an important reservoir for this parasite. The study suggests that wild boar could play a significant role in spreading the parasite to humans. As wild boar numbers are increasing throughout their range, their potential role in transmitting toxoplasmosis should be communicated to stakeholders, and the impact of different population control methods on disease transmission should be thoroughly assessed to mitigate potential threats effectively.



Foodborne disease, Host-parasite distribution, Human infection, Meat consumption, Toxoplasma gondii, Zoonosis

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Food Waterborne Parasitol

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Elsevier BV