The objective of this study was to investigate the presence of Toxoplasma gondii- and Neospora caninum-specific antibodies in domestic South American camelids (SAC) (llamas and alpacas) from the Peruvian Andes through a cross-sectional study. A wide panel of serum samples collected from 1,845 llamas and 2,874 alpacas from the two main SAC production areas of Peru was selected. Immunofluorescence antibody technique was employed to detect and titrate specific anti-T. gondii and anti-N. caninum immunoglobulins G in serum samples. The association between T. gondii and N. caninum seroprevalence and the geographical origin (Central and South Peruvian Andes) was evaluated. Anti-T. gondii antibodies were found in 460 (24.9 %) llamas and 706 (24.6 %) alpacas, whereas anti-N. caninum antibodies were detected in 153 (8.3 %) llamas and 425 (14.8 %) alpacas. Toxoplasma gondii infection was strongly associated with the South Peruvian Andes where moderate climate conditions, larger human population, compared to the Central region, and the presence of wildlife definitive hosts could favor horizontal transmission to SAC. In contrast, N. caninum infection was not associated with the geographical region. These results indicate that T. gondii and N. caninum infections are highly and moderately widespread, respectively, in both species of domestic SAC studied in the sampled areas and appropriate control measures should be undertaken to reduce the prevalence of both parasitic infections.
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© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.