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Vet Parasitol. 2004 Feb 26;120(1-2):1-9.

Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in American free-ranging or captive pumas (Felis concolor) and bobcats (Lynx rufus).

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Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


Toxoplasma gondii is a major zoonotic agent infecting a wide range of mammals, including wild felids. Like domestic cats, wild felids are involved in the complete infective cycle of T. gondii, as they can host in their gastrointestinal tract sexually mature parasites and shed infective oocysts in their feces. In order to evaluate the importance of this wildlife reservoir, 438 serum samples collected between 1984 and 1999 from 438 pumas (Felis concolor) and from 58 bobcats (Lynx rufus) from North America, Central America and South America were screened for antibodies to T. gondii. The overall prevalence of T. gondii antibodies was 22.4% in pumas and 51.7% in bobcats, with regional variations. Adults were more likely to be seropositive than juveniles and kittens (prevalence ratio (PR) = 2.61; confidence interval (CI) = 1.15, 4.04). In the US, pumas from the southwestern states (Arizona, California and New Mexico) were more likely to be seropositive for T. gondii ( PR = 2.61; 95% CI = 1.32-5.18 ) than pumas from the northwestern and mountain states (Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming). Male pumas from the US were more likely to be seropositive than females (PR = 2.08; 95% CI = 1.11-3.92), whereas female pumas from Mexico, Central America and South America were more likely to be seropositive than female pumas from Canada and the US (PR = 2.49; 95% CI = 1.09-5.69). Captive pumas were also more likely to be seropositive (21.7%, 29/92) for T. gondii than free-ranging animals (19.9%, 69/346) (PR = 1.85; 95% CI = 1.06, 3.17).

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