Toxoplasmosis is a protozoan disease that is caused by Toxoplasma gondii in livestock and humans. Due to its medical and veterinary importance, it is essential to study the seroprevalence of T. gondii infection among humans and animals in various parts of the world. The major objective of this study was to determine the seroprevalence and spatial distribution of toxoplasmosis in small ruminants (sheep and goats) of north-eastern region, Pakistan. A total of 1,000 animals comprising of sheep (n=470) and goats (n=530) were examined for T. gondii infection by using ELISA. An epidemiological data was collected in the form of questionnaire. A surface has been generated by using method of interpolation in Arc GIS with the help of IDW (inverse distance weight). The results showed higher seroprevalence of T. gondii in goats (42.8%) as compared to sheep (26.2%). The seroprevalence was higher in females as compared to males in all examined ruminants. Similarly, there is a wide variation in the seroprevalence of T. gondii in different breeds of sheep and goats showing higher seroprevalence in Teddy (52.8%) and Damani breed (34.5%) of goat and sheep's, respectively. The geographical and spatial distribution of T. gondii shows that it is widely distributed in different parts of the north-eastern region of Pakistan. Our results suggest widespread environmental contamination with T. gondii oocysts. It suggests us that small ruminants could be a potentially important source of T. gondii infection if their infected meat is consumed undercooked.
Keywords: ELISA; Pakistan; Toxoplasma gondii; goat; seroprevalence; sheep; spatial distribution.