Detection of Toxoplasma gondii DNA in Fresh and Frozen Semen from Rams in Brazil

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The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of genomic DNA of Toxoplasma gondii in semen samples from commercial rams in artificial insemination centres in Brazil, as well as in fresh semen from rams in the northeast of Brazil. In total, 108 semen samples were obtained from artificial insemination centres, and genomic DNA of T. gondii was detected in 24 of 108 (22.2%). The prevalence of antibodies anti-Toxoplasma gondii among sheep on rural properties was 9.2% (10/109), and 100% of the semen samples of these animals were positive in the PCR for T. gondii DNA. The molecular identity was confirmed through sequencing, which indicated 99.9% similarity with the T. gondii DNA sequences stored in the GenBank. This study reports the first occurrence of T. gondii DNA in the semen of rams, which came from artificial insemination centres in Brazil, as well as the occurrence of T. gondii DNA in the fresh semen of naturally infected rams in the northeast of Brazil.

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