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Korean J Parasitol. 2017 Apr;55(2):207-212. doi: 10.3347/kjp.2017.55.2.207. Epub 2017 Apr 30.

Serological and Molecular Detection of Toxoplasma gondii and Babesia microti in the Blood of Rescued Wild Animals in Gangwon-do (Province), Korea.

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Division of Malaria and Parasitc Diseases, Korea National Institute of Health, Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Cheongju 28159, Korea.
Colleage of Veterinary Medicine, Gangwon National University, Chuncheon 24341, Korea.


Infections of Toxoplasma gondii and Babesia microti are reported in many wild animals worldwide, but information on their incidence and molecular detection in Korean wild fields is limited. In this study, the prevalence of T. gondii and B. microti infection in blood samples of 5 animal species (37 Chinese water deer, 23 raccoon dogs, 6 roe deer, 1 wild boar, and 3 Eurasian badgers) was examined during 2008-2009 in Gangwon-do (Province), the Republic of Korea (=Korea) by using serological and molecular tests. The overall seropositivity of T. gondii was 8.6% (6/70); 10.8% in Chinese water deer, 4.3% in raccoon dogs, and 16.7% in roe deer. PCR revealed only 1 case of T. gondii infection in Chinese water deer, and phylogenic analysis showed that the positive isolate was practically identical to the highly pathogenetic strain type I. In B. microti PCR, the positive rate was 5.7% (4/70), including 2 Chinese water deer and 2 Eurasian badgers. Phylogenetic analysis results of 18S rRNA and the β-tubulin gene showed that all positive isolates were US-type B. microti. To our knowledge, this is the first report of B. microti detected in Chinese water deer and Eurasian badger from Korea. These results indicate a potentially high prevalence of T. gondii and B. microti in wild animals of Gangwon-do, Korea. Furthermore, Chinese water deer might act as a reservoir for parasite infections of domestic animals.


Babesia microti; Korea; Toxoplasma gondii; blood; wild animal; zoonotic pathogen

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