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Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in pet dogs in mainland China: A meta-analysis

Gao, Yu-Meng, Ding, Huan, Lamberton, Poppy H.L., Lu, Da-Bing
Veterinary parasitology 2016 v.229 pp. 126-130
Toxoplasma gondii, control methods, databases, dogs, females, humans, intermediate hosts, males, meta-analysis, pets, public health, seroprevalence, toxoplasmosis, zoonoses, China
Toxoplasmosis, caused by Toxoplasma gondii, is one of the most common zoonosis in the world, and can cause severe adverse consequences in pregnant women and immunosuppressed people. Throughout the world dogs are popular companion animals, however they are also important intermediate host of T. gondii and may play an instrumental role in mechanically transmitting Toxoplasma infection to humans. Therefore, an assessment of the level of T. gondii infection in pet dogs is of public health importance. To estimate the overall serological prevalence of toxoplasmosis in pet dogs in mainland China, we performed a meta-analysis using five bibliographic databases: CNKI, WanFang, VIP Chinese Journal Databases, PubMed and Google Scholar. A total of 60 articles, including data on 78719 pet dogs, published between 1998 and 2016 fulfilled the final eligibility criteria. The overall seroprevalence of T. gondii infection in pet dogs was 11.1% (95% CI: 10.1% to 12.1%). The seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis in >one-year-old dogs was 1.59 times more than that in ≤one-year-old group (RR=1.59, 95%CI=1.15, 2.21). There was no significant difference observed in pooled seroprevalence between male and female dogs (RR=1.02, 95%CI=0.91, 1.16). In terms of geographical regions, the lowest seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis infection (5.8%) was in North China and the highest (16.8%) was in Southwest of China. Results from this study showed that toxoplasmosis is common in pet dogs in mainland China, indicating that control measures by owners may reduce human exposure to T. gondii via dog contacts.