Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum are widespread cyst-forming coccidian parasites of the subfamily Toxoplasmatinae that infect a wide range of wild and domestic animals. Whereas T. gondii is a zoonotic disease, N. caninum is restricted to nonhuman animals. Some chiropteran species can be infected by T. gondii and present fatal toxoplasmosis. In most cases, T. gondii–infected bats are believed to remain asymptomatic and to act as an infection source to other animals. It is not known whether N. caninum can infect bats. We determined infection rates of T. gondii and N. caninum in free-living bats in the state of Bahia, Brazil. Brain samples from 97 bats of seven species, captured in 2008–15, were analyzed by PCRs for T. gondii and N. caninum. Two of the 97 samples were positive for T. gondii DNA. None of the samples were positive for N. caninum DNA, suggesting that the bats were not susceptible to N. caninum infection or that its prevalence was very low.
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Vol. 53 • No. 1