The present study assessed the prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in feral cat populations in Seoul using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). A total of 456 feral cats from 17 wards in Seoul was surveyed. The overall prevalence of T. gondii infection was 15.8% (69/456) by ELISA and 17.5% (80/456) by PCR; by gender, 17% (44/259) by ELISA and 16.2% (42/259) by PCR in males and 14.3% (28/196) by ELISA and 19.4% (38/196) by PCR in females. On a baseline of the Han River, prevalence was 15.1% (29/192) by ELISA and 15.6% (30/192) by PCR in the upper region and 16.4% (43/264) by ELISA and 18.9% (50/264) by PCR in the lower area. This suggested that toxoplasmosis is widespread throughout Seoul's feral cat population and it is critical that the city institute policies for the control of the feral cat population to reduce the risk of toxoplasmosis transmission to animals, including humans.
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Vol. 97 • No. 1