A cross-sectional investigation was done on the seroprevalence of Leishmania infantum and Toxoplasma gondii infection among apparently healthy horses in Israel. This survey included 383 horses distributed in 22 farms throughout Israel during the years 2011-2013. Serum samples were tested for the presence of immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies using the direct agglutination test (DAT) specific to Leishmania and by the modified agglutination test (MAT) for the presence of IgG antibodies to T. gondii. Low seroprevalences were detected for both L. infantum and T. gondii in the horse population in Israel; of the 338 horses tested, 6 (1.4%) were found to be seropositive for L. infantum and 11 (2.5%) for T. gondii, with no significant association between seroprevalence and demographic/environmental factors. An ongoing geographical expansion of L. infantum, previously reported in humans and dogs in Israel, was also supported by our results in horses. Here we present evidence of exposure of horses to L. infantum and T. gondii in Israel. Continuous seroprevalence surveillance in horses, such as the one performed in this study, might further elucidate the eco-epidemiology of these two important zoonotic parasites in this country.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2015.
- Leishmania infantum
- Toxoplasma gondii