1Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran
2Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran
3Department of Food Hygiene and Public Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran
Cats play crucial roles in the epidemiology of toxoplasmosis. In the present study, a total of 198 companion cats of different ages were examined for serum antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii by immunochromatography assay and for oocyst presence in faeces by microscopic examination (flotation method) and immunochromatography assay. The cats were selected between referred cases to the Veterinary Hospital of Ahvaz University, southwestern Iran from December 2006 to November 2009. Classification was made by age, sex, breed, region and season. The studied cats were divided into three groups based on age (<6 months, 6 months–3 years and >3 years) and into five regions based on area (north, east, west, south and central). The results were analyzed by Chi-square analysis, Fischer’s exact test and Z test. Forty nine of 198 serum samples (24.75%) had antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii (95% CI: 18.7-30.7%). Prevalence was significantly higher in adult cats above 3 years (38.8%) and 6 months–3 years (26.6%) compared with cats less than 6 months (3.8%) (P<0.001). Prevalence was higher in male cats (29.7%) than females (20.6%), in the summer season (26.2%) and west region (27.5), but the difference was not significant between the prevalence of infection relative to host gender (P=0.14), season (P=0.99) and region (P=0.98). Faecal flotation technique and immunochromatography assay was carried out on faecal samples also and T. gondii oocysts were not detected in any of the 198 samples. Our study showed that the prevalence of infection (24.75%) is relatively high in serum of companion cats in the Ahvaz district.