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1 October 2011 Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii Infection in Feral Raccoons (Procyon lotor) in Japan
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Antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii were found in 92 (9.9%) of 929 feral raccoons (Procyon lotor) in Japan with the use of the latex agglutination test (LAT, 1∶64 or higher). Seropositivity varied by geographic location, season, and weight of raccoons trapped. Seroprevalences in the northern, central, and western areas of Japan were found to be 7.9% (39/492), 16.5% (47/285), and 3.9% (6/152), respectively. The seroprevalence by season varied from 8.5% (13/153) in spring to 18.9% (14/74) in winter, which was significantly higher than those in other seasons (P < 0.05). Seroprevalence of T. gondii was elevated in accordance with the increase in body weight of raccoons (rs  =  0.9), suggesting that the animals acquired the infection postnatally. The results suggest that the raccoon may serve as a useful indicator for the distribution of T. gondii in peridomestic environments in Japan.

American Society of Parasitologists
Shingo Sato, Hidenori Kabeya, Takashi Makino, Kazuo Suzuki, Makoto Asano, Satoshi Inoue, Hiroshi Sentsui, Sadao Nogami, and Soichi Maruyama "Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii Infection in Feral Raccoons (Procyon lotor) in Japan," Journal of Parasitology 97(5), 956-957, (1 October 2011).
Published: 1 October 2011

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