Antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii and Leishmania spp. in domestic cats from Luanda, Angola

Ana Patrícia Lopes, Ana Cristina Oliveira, Sara Granada, Filipa T. Rodrigues, Elias Papadopoulos, Henk Schallig, Jitender P. Dubey, Luís Cardoso

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Toxoplasma gondii and Leishmania spp. are zoonotic protozoa of importance to animal and public health. The present study aimed to assess for the first time the seroprevalence of these zoonotic parasites in a domestic feline population living in Luanda, Angola. One hundred and two cats were sampled at a veterinary medical centre, from May 2014 to February 2016. The age of the cats ranged from 2.5 to 143 months (median: 12 months; interquartile range: 7.5-24). Serum samples were tested for immunoglobulin (Ig) G antibodies to T. gondii at two-fold dilutions of 1:20 to 1:2560 with a modified agglutination test (MAT) commercial kit. The direct agglutination test (DAT) for titration of IgG antibodies specific to Leishmania spp. used a standard freeze-dried antigen at a concentration of 5×10(7) promastigotes per milliliter, following a predefined protocol. Two-fold dilution series ranging from 1:25 to 1:800 were tested, with a cut-off titre of 100 chosen for seropositivity. Four out of 102 cats (3.9%; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.1-9.7) had antibodies to T. gondii: one had a titer of 20, one a titer of 160, and two had a titer≥2560. No cat (0.0%; CI: 0.0-3.5) was found seropositive for Leishmania spp. A statistically significant difference was found between T. gondii seroprevalence and Leishmania spp. seroprevalence (p=0.043). The odds of a cat being seropositive to T. gondii increased by an average factor of 1.58 for each 1-year increase in age (p=0.003). The sampled cats were well-cared animals and may not represent the overall feline population of Angola at the national and city levels. The fact that only 12 out of the 102 sampled cats ate or had access to raw or undercooked meat and/or viscera may have reduced the likelihood of finding seropositive results. Under these circumstances, additional studies, including a larger number of cats, are necessary for a more comprehensive assessment of the zoonotic risk posed by these animals in Angola
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-18
JournalVeterinary parasitology
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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