Prevalence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in raccoons (Procyon lotor) from an urban area of northern Virginia


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American Society of Parasitology


Raccoons (Procyon lotor) are intermediate hosts for Toxo-plasma gondii, and clinical toxoplasmosis in raccoons has been reported. A 2-yr serological survey was conducted to determine the prevalence of antibodies to T. gondii in raccoons collected from Fairfax County, Virginia, a suburban/urban area outside Washington, D.C. Serum samples from 256 raccoons were examined for T. gondii antibodies at a 1:50 dilution using the modified direct agglutination test. Results indicated that 216 (84.4%) of the raccoons had been exposed to T. gondii. Our results indicate that raccoons in this area of Virginia are frequently exposed to T gondii. Domestic cats were common in the study area and may have served as a source of oocysts for raccoons and the food items of raccoons.



serologic survey, wild animals, mammals, infection, oocysts, iowa, parasitology


Katie Hancock, Lori A. Thiele, Anne M. Zajac, Francois Elvinger, and David S. Lindsay (2005). "Prevalence of Antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in Raccoons (Procyon lotor) From an Urban Area of Northern Virginia," Journal of Parasitology, Vol. 91, No. 3, pp. 694-695. doi: