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


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American Society of Parasitology


Raccoons (Procvon lotor) are reservoir hosts for Trypanosoma cruzi. A 3-yr-long serological survey was conducted to determine the prevalence of antibodies to this zoonotic parasite in raccoons collected from Fairfax County. Virginia, a suburban/urban area outside Washington, D.C. Serum samples from 464 raccoons were examined for T. cruzi antibodies at a 1:40 dilution with an indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) and Brazil strain T. cruzi amastigotes and trypomastigotes as antigen. A positive IFAT test was found in 154 (33%) of the 464 samples. The yearly prevalence was 49 of 132 (37%) in 2000; 19 of 120 (16%) in 2001; and 86 of 212 (41%) in 2002. Our study indicates that raccoons in this area of Virginia are frequently exposed to T cruzi.



wild raccoons, georgia, infection, southeast, carolina, opossums, florida, parasitology


Katie Hancock, Anne M. Zajac, Oscar J. Pung, Francois Elvinger, Alexa C. Rosypal, and David S. Lindsay (2005). "Prevalence of Antibodies to Trypanosoma cruzi in Raccoons (Procyon lotor) From an Urban Area of Northern Virginia," Journal of Parasitology, Vol. 91, No. 2, pp. 470-472. doi: