Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence in endangered bridled nailtail wallabies and co-occurring species.

Abstract

The parasite Toxoplasma gondii can infect any warm-blooded species; however, seroprevalence in most species remains largely unknown. In this study we examined the presence of T. gondii antibodies in captured individuals in the two remaining wild populations and one captive population of endangered bridled nailtail wallabies (Onychogalea fraenata). Samples from cats (Felis catus), rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and dogs (Canis lupus) were also taken opportunistically during invasive species control at the two wild populations. Seventy-one wallabies, sixteen cats, four rabbits, and two dogs' blood samples were tested for T. gondii using a modified agglutination test. Half of the tested feral cats (n = 8) were seropositive and all intermediate hosts were seronegative for T. gondii antibodies. This unexpected result suggests a loss of infected individuals before capture and testing, or parasite infectivity being suppressed by Queensland's hot, dry climate.