Toxoplasma gondii infections in birds, companion, food and recreational animals in Nigeria: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Vet Parasitol Reg Stud Reports. 2020 Jul:21:100418. doi: 10.1016/j.vprsr.2020.100418. Epub 2020 Jun 13.


Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan pathogen of zoonotic and economic importance with a global distribution. The pathogen is associated with abortion, stillbirth, neonatal mortalities and mummification in sheep and goats which may also serve as sources of human infections. In pregnant women, the parasite undergoes intrauterine transmission to cause neonatal complications like miscarriage, chorioretinitis, hydrocephalus, cerebral calcification and foetal death. Here, we determine the prevalence and geographical distribution of T. gondii infections in Nigeria using the PRISMA protocol. Prevalence estimates (PE) and heterogeneity were determined by the random-effects model and the Cochran's Q-test respectively. Twenty-eight articles identified, reported 2311 positive cases of Toxoplasma gondii from a total of 9847 animals examined across 15 Nigerian States. Overall PE was 20.70% (95% CI: 15.05-27.78) with a range of 10.18% (95% CI: 2.66-31.98) to 94.00% (95% CI: 89.73-96.56) across sub-groups. PEs varied significantly (p < .05) across host species, with a range of 4.06% (95% CI: 2.47-6.87) to 40.65% (95% CI: 19.88-65.40). PEs in females (22.65%, 95% CI: 15.78-31.72) was significantly higher (p < .05) than that in males (18.97%, 95% CI: 12.78-27.22), while those for adult and young animals were 20.23% (95% CI: 13.42-29.33) and 18.96% (95% CI: 11.11-30.45) respectively. The majority of the studies were published from the south-western region. Toxoplasma gondii infection is prevalent among birds, companion, food and recreational animals from Nigeria. Integrated control strategies including adequate sanitation, cat movement restrictions, public enlightenment are recommended to curtail the menace of T. gondii in animals and its public health consequences in humans.

Keywords: Geographical distribution; Nigerian animals; Protozoan zoonosis; Seroepidemilogy; Toxoplasma gondii.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Birds*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Livestock*
  • Male
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Pets*
  • Prevalence
  • Serologic Tests / veterinary*
  • Sex Factors
  • Toxoplasma / isolation & purification*
  • Toxoplasmosis, Animal / epidemiology*
  • Toxoplasmosis, Animal / parasitology