Seroprevalence and risk factors of toxoplasma gondii infection among goats from Choma district, Zambia.

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Zimba, Chiluba
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The University of Zambia
Toxoplasmosis is a disease of economic importance and of public health significance. Despite being a zoonotic disease, information on Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) infection in goats has not yet been reported in Zambia. A cross-sectional sero-epidemiological study of T. gondii infection in goats was carried out from 31st August to 5th September, 2021 in eight veterinary camps of Choma district, Southern Province, Zambia. A closed-ended questionnaire was also administered to forty one farmers whose goats were included in the study to identify potential risk factors for T. gondii infections in goats. Three hundred and twenty-four goat sera were examined for IgG anti- T. gondii antibodies using an ELISA kit. All factors attributing to T. gondii infection in goats were analyzed using Chi-square and logistic regression analysis. The serological results showed an overall seroprevalence of 3.11% (95% CI: 2.71-9.43). Female goats had a seroprevalence of 4.13% (95% CI: 3.55-13.61: p =0.001), while all the males were negative. According to age, adults had a seroprevalence of 4.00% (95% CI: 3.16-13.23: p =0.001) than the young 1.01% (95% CI: 0.09-10.63). The significant risk factors were presence of stray cats within the farm yards (aOR: 5.092, 95% CI: 2.442-16.376: p =0.033), cats access to water and feed troughs (aOR: 2.806, 95% CI: 1.002-11.528: p =0.041) and presence of cat feaces within the farm yards (aOR: 0.042: 95% CI: 0.010-0.761: p =0.029). The detection of T. gondii infection among goats indicates a potential risk presented to humans from food animals. This further highlighted the impact of T. gondii infection on the health, production and reproduction of goats and other ruminants.
Thesis of Master of Science in Tropical Infectious Diseases and Zoonosis