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Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in Harbor Seals (Phoca vitulina) in Southern Puget Sound, Washington

Category: Wildlife Research and Management - Wildlife Research

Date Published: October 2001

Number of Pages: 2

Author(s): D. M. Lambourn, S. J. Jeffries, and J. P. Dubey

The Journal of Parasitology, Vol. 87, No. 5, October 2001

As part of the Puget Sound Ambient Monitoring Program of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, serum samples from 380 harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) were tested for antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in the modified agglutination test (MAT) incorpo-rating formalin-fixed tachyzoites and mercaptoethanol. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 29 of 380 (7.6%) seals with titers of 1:25 in 13, 1:50 in 14, and >1:500 in 2 seals. Results indicate natural exposure of these wild marine mammals to T. gondii oocysts.