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Toxoplasma gondii Infections in Chickens (Gallus domesticus): Prevalence, Clinical Disease, Diagnosis and Public Health Significance

Authors

  • J. P. Dubey

    1. United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory, Animal and Natural Resources Institute, Beltsville, MD, USA
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J. P. Dubey. United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory, Animal and Natural Resources Institute, Building 1001, Beltsville, MD 20705-2350, USA.
Tel.: +1 301 504 8128; Fax: +1 301 504 9222;
E-mail: jitender.dubey@ars.usda.gov

Summary

Chickens are considered one of the most important hosts in the epidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii infection because they are an efficient source of infection for cats that excrete the environmentally resistant oocysts and because humans may become infected with this parasite after eating undercooked infected chicken meat. The objective of this study is to review worldwide prevalence of T. gondii infection in chickens and to assess the role of infected chickens in the epidemiology of toxoplasmosis in humans. A very high prevalence of the parasite was found in chickens raised in backyards (up to 100%) and free-range organic (30–50%) establishments.

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