Toxoplasma gondii coinfection with diseases and parasites in wild rabbits in Scotland

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Parasitology, 2015, 142 (11), pp. 1415 - 1421
Issue Date:
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© 2015 Cambridge University Press. In wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) on an estate in Perthshire, central Scotland, the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii was 18/548 (3.3%). The wild rabbit could be a T. gondii reservoir and it has potential value as a sentinel of T. gondii in environmental substrates. Toxoplasma gondii was associated with female sex (P < 0.001) and with relatively heavy infections by Eimeria stiedae (P = 0.036). It was not associated with the intensity of coccidial oocysts, the severity of myxomatosis caused by the virus Myxomatosis cuniculi, the intensity of roundworm eggs, the year or season, rabbit age or distance from farm buildings. Coinfections could have been affected by gestational down regulation of type 1 T helper cells. A sudden influx or release of T. gondii oocysts might have occurred. This is the first report of T. gondii in any wild herbivore in Scotland and also the first report of lapine T. gondii as a coinfection with E. stiedae, M. cuniculi and helminths.
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