Poster presentation 12th International Mammalogical Congress

Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence in endangered bridled nailtail wallabies and co-occurring alien species (#609)

Alexandra Ross 1 , Jasmin Lawes 1 , Janelle Lowry 2 , Andrew Elphinstone 3
  1. University of NSW, Kensington, New South Wales, Australia
  2. Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia
  3. Taronga Conservation Society Australia, Mosman, New South Wales, Australia

The parasite Toxoplasma gondii can infect any warm blooded species; however seroprevalence in most species remains largely unknown. This study examines the presence of T. gondii antibodies in two remaining wild populations and one captive population of endangered bridled nailtail wallabies (Onychogalea fraenata). Samples from cats (Felis catus), rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and dogs (Canis lupus) were also taken opportunistically during invasive species control. 71 wallabies, 16 feral cats, 4 rabbits and 2 dogs’ blood samples were tested for T. gondii using a modified agglutination test. An antibody abundance of 50% (n = 8) was found in feral cats and all intermediate hosts were seronegative. This result suggests a loss of infected individuals before capture and testing, or parasite transmission being affected by Queensland’s hot, dry climate.