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An investigation into the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii, Bartonella spp., feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), and feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) in cats in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

  • N. TIAO (a1), C. DARRINGTON (a1), B. MOLLA (a1), W. J. A. SAVILLE (a1), G. TILAHUN (a2), O. C. H. KWOK (a3), W. A. GEBREYES (a1), M. R. LAPPIN (a4), J. L. JONES (a5) and J. P. DUBEY (a3)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 02 August 2012

Toxoplasma gondii and Bartonella spp. are zoonotic pathogens of cats. Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), and feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) are immunosuppressive viruses of cats that can affect T. gondii oocyst shedding. In this study, the prevalence of antibodies to T. gondii, Bartonella spp., FIV, as well as FeLV antigens were determined in sera from feral cats (Felis catus) from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Using the modified agglutination test, IgG antibodies to T. gondii were found in 41 (85·4%) of the 48 cats with titres of 1:25 in one, 1:50 in one, 1:200 in six, 1:400 in six, 1:800 in six, 1:1600 in eight, and 1:3200 in 13 cats. Toxoplasma gondii IgM antibodies were found in 11/46 cats tested by ELISA, suggesting recent infection. Antibodies to Bartonella spp. were found in five (11%) of 46 cats tested. Antibodies to FIV or FeLV antigen were not detected in any of the 41 cats tested. The results indicate a high prevalence of T. gondii and a low prevalence of Bartonella spp. infection in cats in Ethiopia.

Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Dr J. P. Dubey, APDL, ANRI, BARC, Building 1001, USDA, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA. (Email:
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Epidemiology & Infection
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