Toxoplasmosis is considered a severe health risk for many marsupial species. The mainland Australian population of bandicoot is endangered. Therefore, a preliminary serosurvey was conducted to evaluate exposure to Toxoplasma gondii in 57 captive eastern barred bandicoot and to estimate the possible impact of Toxoplasma on recovering populations. Five (9%) bandicoot were classified as seropositive using a modified agglutination test. Nineteen additional bandicoot (33%) were classified as serosuspect using a direct agglutination test. No bandicoot showed signs of clinical disease. Seropositive titers were IgG associated, suggesting that infections were chronic and latent. Serostatus was not associated with either sex or being wild-caught, although each seropositive bandicoot was wild-caught. Seropositive animals ranged from 1.25- to 2.5-yr-old. Computer simulations using Vortex 5.1, based on the proportion of seropositive and seronegative bandicoot in this study, indicate that mortalities from T. gondii should have little impact upon captive populations. However, the potential impact of toxoplasmosis on recovery efforts for wild, mainland bandicoot populations is not clear.
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Vol. 36 • No. 2