High exposure to toxoplasma gondii and neospora spp. In donkeys in israel: Serological survey and case reports

Sharon Tirosh‐levy, Amir Steinman, Avital Minderigiu, Ori Arieli, Igor Savitski, Ludmila Fleiderovitz, Nir Edery, Gili Schvartz, Monica Leszkowicz Mazuz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora spp. are closely related cyst‐forming coccidian parasites, which infect various animal species and have considerable zoonotic and economic implications, respectively. Both parasites are endemic in Israel and have been reported to infect wild and domestic animals. This study was conceived to evaluate the serologic exposure of donkeys to these parasites. Serum samples were collected from 98 donkeys. Half of them (n = 49) were from animal shelters in Israel, and the rest (n = 49) were working donkeys from the Palestinian Authority. The donkeys were screened for the presence of anti‐Toxoplasma and anti‐Neospora antibodies by immunofluorescence antibody tests (IFATs). The seroprevalence of T. gondii and Neospora spp. was 94% and 70%, respectively, and 69% of the donkeys were exposed to both parasites. In addition, N. caninum tissue cysts were documented in two donkeys during post‐mortem examination. This is the first report of the exposure of donkeys to T. gondii and Neospora spp. in the area. The high prevalence found in this study suggests that donkeys may have a role in the maintenance of these parasites in the area, thus serving as a source of infection for the definitive hosts.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1921
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Donkey
  • IFAT
  • Neospora
  • Serology
  • Toxoplasma gondii


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