SVIBOR - Project code: 3-03-466


Strossmayerov trg 4, HR - 10000 ZAGREB
tel.: +385 1 459 44 44, fax: +385 1 459 44 69


SVIBOR - Collecting Data on Projects in Croatia

Project code: 3-03-466


Main researcher: RAJKOVIĆ-JANJE, RANKA (40074)

Type of research: applied
Duration from: 06/30/91. to 06/30/94.

Papers on project (total): 2
Institution name: Veterinarski institut, Zagreb (48)
Department/Institute: Department of parasitology
Address: Savska cesta 143
City: 10000 - Zagreb, Croatia
Phone: 385 (0)1 535-011
Fax: 385 (0)1 537-140

Summary: Investigation on the frequency of antibodies against protozoan Toxoplasma gondii in goats was carried out in the North-eastern Croatia on 79 goats of different age and sex on two private farms and on 100 goats of unknown age and sex from the same region. By the serological test of direct agglutination a law titre of T. gondii antibodies was established (1:20) in 8,37 % of all the animals. On both farms in 13,92 % of animals the antibody titre of 1:20 was established and in 100 goats from different farms in 4 % of animals. Seropositivity was higher in female than in male kids. In adult male animals the titre of antibodies was not demonstrated. The great number of seropositive animals was established in the group of older animals (farm A). On both farms tested reproductive problems were not registered so it can be concluded that a sporadic invasion was in question. Investigation on the titre of T. gondii antibodies in sheep was carried out in the region of Slavonia in the Republic of Croatia in two different breeding systems - farm and nomadic (sheep originated from Bosnia). Out of 334 animals 4,49 % manifested the antibody titre >= 1:16 established by the method of direct agglutination. In 11,57 % of sheep and 9,37 % of lambs from the farm the antibody titre >= 1:16 was established, since only 0,49% of nomadic sheep had the antibody titre 1:16, which suggest that the litter and the farm enviroment were considerably contaminated with T. gondii oocysts in relation to spacious pastures and plough-lands where nomadic sheep stay.

Keywords: Toxoplasma gondii, seroprevalence, goats, sheep, modified agglutination test, abortion.

Research goals: Protozoan Toxoplasma gondii is one of the causes of the abortions in sheep and goats and other animal kinds as well as humans all over the world. In Norway 80 % of miscarriages in sheep have been attributed to toxoplasmosis, while in England 13,8 % of miscarriages have been caused by protozoa T. gondii and in even 60 % of all cases the cause of the abortion has not been established. On the territory of the Republic of Croatia there have been no data on protozoa T. gondii as cause of miscarriages. Investigations on the presence of T. gondii tissue cysts on spleen, liver and diaphragms of sheep (by the method of biological experiments on mice) from Zagrebian slaughteries originated from all parts of ex Yugoslavia (Wikerhauser et al., 1986., Wikerhauser et al., 1988., Kutičić, 1987) have shown that sheep are nevertheless invaded by this microorganism. Damages that can occur in the case of the invasion of an animal, and especially small ruminants refer mostly to losses in reproduction (resorption of fetus, mummified embryo, abortion, avital lambs), depending on the stage of gestation and immunocompetence of fetus. Perinathal mortality caused by T. gondii is probably more often than being reported, since the diagnosis of abortion in sheep and goats is longlasting and expensive (pathoanatomical analysis of placenta, histological analysis of placenta and fetus tissue, brain in particular, biological experiment on mouse and serological method of dye test). Serological investigations of antibody titre of Toxoplasma gondii in sheep and goats are useful for establishing the immune status of particular herd but it can't be said that they can be used for diagnostic demonstration in the case in question (as the case of abortion in humans can), because a sick animal keeps the high antibody titre during a longer period of time. Negative finding of T. gondii antibodies in an animal that miscarried is sign that the miscarriage was not caused by this particular microorganism. The finding of IgG antibodies in fetal fluid is reliable diagnsotic material beacause maternal antibodies do not pass through the placental barrier. The lack of toxoplasma antibodies in fetal fluid does not exclude the possibility of T. gondii as the cause of the abortion since development of fetal antibodies depends on the age of fetus in the time of invasion. The aim of this investigation is to establish the expansion of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in small ruminants on the territory of the Republic of Croatia and to introduce simple, quick and inexpensive methods for discovering Toxoplasma gondii as a cause of the miscarriages in goats and sheep.


  1. Name of institution: Veterinarski fakultet Zagreb
    Type of institution: University/Faculty
    Type of cooperation: Joint publishing of scientific papers
    City: 10000 - Zagreb, Croatia

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Last update: 10/10/95