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Prevalence to Toxoplasma gondii and Sarcocystis spp. in a reintroduced fisher (Martes pennanti) population in Pennsylvania
The Journal of parasitology (2011)
  • J L Larkin
  • M Gabriel
  • Richard W. Gerhold Jr., University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • M J Yabsley
  • J C Wester
  • J G Humphreys
  • R Beckstead
  • J P Dubey
Abstract

Understanding the role of disease in population regulation is important to the conservation of wildlife. We evaluated the prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii exposure and Sarcocystis spp. infection in 46 road-killed and accidentally trapper-killed fisher (Martes pennanti) carcasses collected and stored at -20 C by the Pennsylvania Game Commission from February 2002 to October 2008. Blood samples were assayed for T. gondii antibodies using the modified agglutination test (MAT, 1 : 25) and an indirect immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT, 1 : 128). For genetic analysis, DNA samples were extracted from thoracic and pelvic limb skeletal muscle from each carcass to test for Sarcocystis spp. using 18s-rRNA PCR primers. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 100% (38 of 38) of the fishers tested by MAT and in 71% (32 of 45) of the fishers tested by IFAT. PCR analysis revealed that 83% (38 of 46) of the fishers were positive for Sarcocystis spp. Sequence analysis of 7 randomly chosen amplicons revealed the fisher sarcocysts had a 98.3% to 99.1% identity to several avian Sarcocystis spp. sequences in GenBank. Data from our study suggest that a high percentage of fishers in Pennsylvania have been exposed to T. gondii and are infected with Sarcocystis spp.

Publication Date
June, 2011
Citation Information
J L Larkin, M Gabriel, Richard W. Gerhold Jr., M J Yabsley, et al.. "Prevalence to Toxoplasma gondii and Sarcocystis spp. in a reintroduced fisher (Martes pennanti) population in Pennsylvania" The Journal of parasitology Vol. 97 Iss. 3 (2011)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/richard_w_gerhold/11/