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A systematic review and prevalence modeling of Toxoplasma gondii as a function of age in cattle, ild animals and felines in Europe

Figure 1 Categorization of Europe into regions. European countries are categorized into five European regions: Western (blue), Northern (white), Eastern (green), Southeastern (yellow), and Southwestern (red). Generated from:, accessed on 18 August 2022.
A sytematic review of the litterature was done by a team of 20 scientists from 13 European countries using the on-line free tool, Cadima, containing 226 available publications. This systematic review was followed up with a meta-analysis using a Bayesian model including relevant covariables in order to create an age-dependent model for T. gondii prevalence in over 50 animal species. The results of this meta-analysis can be used to extrapolate data from regions where data are missing and to provide precious information for future approaches aimed at estimating the relative contribution of different sources of human infection by T. gondii.

Toxoplasma gondii is an important zoonotic parasite for human and animal health. Transmission of the parasite may be done using several pathways and infected animal meat seems to be a major source of human infection in Europe. We sought to estimate the prevalence of T. gondii in a selection of host animal species. We performed a systematic review of the literature that provided 226 eligible publications, and serological data were analyzed using a hierarchical Bayesian age-dependent model in order to obtain estimations of regional seroprevalence for T. gondii in cattle, wild animals and felines. The estimations of the prevalence vary according to species, regions, indoor/outdoor farms and the type of detection method applied. The lowest estimated seroprevalence was observed in lagomorphs raised inside, that is 4,8 % (IC 95 % : 1.8-7.5 %), and the highest was observed in sheep raised outdoors, 63,3 % (IC 95 % : 53,0-79,3 %). Altogether, the seroprevalence estimations for T. gondii were the highest in Eastern Europe, whereas they were the lowest in Northern Europe. The prevalence data based on direct detection methods were rare and were not modeled but rather directly summarized per species. The resutls of this meta-analysis can be used to extrapolate data in regions where data is lacking in order to provide precious information for future source-attributing approaches aimed at estimating the relative contribution of different human infection sources by T. gondii.

Contact :

Radu Blaga, Filip Dámek, Delphine Le Roux, UMR BIPAR (Anses/EnvA/INRAE), Maisons-Alfort, France

For more information:
This study was possible thanks to the TOXOSOURCE consortium, financed by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program under grant agreement No 773830: One Health European Joint Programme. For more information on the EJP TOXOSOURCE: 

See also

Reference: Filip Dámek, Arno Swart, Helga Waap, Pikka Jokelainen, Delphine Le Roux, Gunita Deksne, Huifang Deng, Gereon Schares, Anna Lundén, Gema Álvarez-García, Martha Betson, Rebecca K Davidson, Adriana Györke, Daniela Antolová, Zuzana Hurníková, Henk J Wisselink, Jacek Sroka, Joke W B van der Giessen, Radu Blaga, Marieke Opsteegh.
Pathogens, 2023 Jan 6;12(1):97. doi: 10.3390/pathogens12010097.