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"Sanchez-Okrucky, R."

Alvarado-Esquivel, C.; Sanchez-Okrucky, R.; Dubey, Jitender P. (detail)
Serological evidence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in captive marine mammals in Mexico.
Veterinary Parasitology 184(2-4): 321-324. 1 tab. DOI:10.1016/j.vetpar.2011.08.036. March 23, 2012.
–ABSTRACT: Toxoplasma gondii infection in marine mammals is important because they are considered as a sentinel for contamination of seas with T. gondii oocysts, and toxoplasmosis causes mortality in these animals, particularly sea otters. Serological evidence of T. gondii infection was determined in 75 captive marine mammals from four facilities in southern and central geographical regions in Mexico using the modified agglutination test (MAT). Antibodies (MAT, 1:25 or higher) to T. gondii were found in 55 (87.3%) of 63 Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus truncatus), 3 of 3 Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus gillii), 2 of 4 California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), but not in 3 West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus), and 2 Patagonian sea lions (Otaria flavescens). Seropositive marine mammals were found in all 4 (100%) facilities sampled. All marine mammals were healthy and there has not been any case of clinical toxoplasmosis in the facilities sampled for at least the last 15 years. The seroprevalence of T. gondii infection in marine mammals of the same species did not vary significantly with respect to sex and age. This is the first report on the detection of antibodies to T. gondii in marine mammals in Mexico.

Daryl P. Domning, Research Associate, Department of Paleobiology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20560, and Laboratory of Evolutionary Biology, Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, Howard University, Washington, D.C. 20059.
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