Meat and Poultry Products as a Potential Source of Toxoplasma gondii Infection

Arafa, M. I.1*, Ahmed, S. M.2, Tawfik, M. S.3 & Hefnawy, Y. A.4

1Assiut Lab, Dept. of Parasitology, Animal Health Research Institute (AHRI), ARC, Egypt
2Food Hygiene Department, Animal Health Research Institute, El-Minia Lab, Egypt
3Food Hygiene Department, Animal Health Research Institute, Assiut Lab, Egypt
4Food Hygiene Department, Fac. of Vet. Med. Assiut Univ., Egypt

Dr. Arafa, M. I., Assiut Lab, Dept. of Parasitology, Animal Health Research Institute (AHRI), ARC, Egypt.

Keywords: Toxoplasmosis; Meat Products; Chickens Products; Viability Testing


Toxoplasma gondii, is a meat cyst-forming protozoa, has a potential zoonotic impact sequence to consumption of undercooked meat or chickens harboring bradyzoites. The present study, explores some common meat and chicken products (300 samples), which are still neglected as a possible source of human toxoplasmosis. Samples of minced meat, sausage, kofta, beef burger, chicken burger and chicken kofta were examined for the persistence of viable T. gondii bradyzoites through direct microscopical examination of digested meat samples confirmed by PCR for recognition of T. gondii DNA. Mice viability testing was adopted for positive samples detected the potential zoonotic hazard. Microscopically, chicken kofta, beef minced meat followed by sausage showed the highest percentage of Toxoplasma contamination as 24, 16 & 6.7% respectively, while molecular study using PCR detected that beef minced meat, chicken burger, sausage followed by chicken kofta had 40, 20, 9.5 & 6.25% contamination percentage respectively. Otherwise, viability assay using mice passage, showed positive result only in beef minced meat (14.3%), while sausage, kofta, beef burger, chicken burger and chicken kofta were negative for viability test. The study concluded that despite of Toxoplasma contamination of different tested meat or poultry samples using different examination tools, the viable parasites were detected only beef minced meat which leads to great zoonotic public hazard on human consumption.

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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