Nigeria has communities where dogs are consumed as food and there is no data available on the prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in dogs slaughtered for food. Here we investigated antibodies to T. gondii in dogs slaughtered for food in two Southwestern Nigeria states using the modified agglutination test (MAT, cut off 1:20) and also assess the knowledge, habits and practice of consumers that relate to T. gondii infection using structured questionnaire. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 55 (19.8%) of 278 dogs with titres of 1:20 in 37, 1:40 in 6, 1:80 in 8, 1:160 in 1, 1:320 in 2, 1:640 in 0 and 1:1280 in 1. Toxoplasma gondii was significantly associated with gender and sampling location (P< 0.05), but no association was found with age and body condition of dogs. While few individuals were found to have negative behavior like eating of raw dog meat and feeding of dog meat to cat, most people in the sampling location have no knowledge of possibility of getting infected with T. gondii through eating of dog meat. This study, which, showed that dogs slaughtered for food in Ondo and Ekiti states, Nigeria are exposed to T. gondii infection, also reveals the need for proper health education of dog consumers on toxoplasmosis.
Toxoplasma gondii, Dog consumers, Modified aggulination test, Nigeria.