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Prevalence of Antibody to Toxoplasma among Alaskan Natives: Relation to Exposure to the Felidae

Donald R. Peterson, Marion K. Cooney and R. Palmer Beasley
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 130, No. 6 (Dec., 1974), pp. 557-563
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30061715
Page Count: 7
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Prevalence of Antibody to Toxoplasma among Alaskan Natives: Relation to Exposure to the Felidae
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Abstract

In an assessment of the role of felids in transmitting toxoplasmosis to humans, sera from 1,572 Alaskan natives with different degrees of potential exposure to Felis catis and Lynx canadiensis were examined for antibody to Toxoplasma by the indirect fluorescent antibody test and the indirect hemagglutination test. Prevalence varied widely irrespective of geo-ethnic classification. Overall, approximately 28% of the sera examined had antibody (detectable by the indirect fluorescent antibody test) at a dilution of 1:16. A complementary assessment, in which the indirect hemagglutination test was used to titrate sera for end points of antibody to Toxoplasma, yielded a prevalence rate of about 16% at a dilution ≥ 1:32. Previously, toxoplasmosis was thought to be absent in Eskimos. Contrary to expectation, felids could not be excluded as possible vectors of infection even in the remotest regions of the far north. Animals used as food by Alaskan natives may also have contributed to the relatively high prevalence rate found, but virtually nothing is known about the epizoology of toxoplasmosis in the Arctic.

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