Aim: Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite of public health significance due to its possible transmission to humans through ingestion of tissue cysts in raw or undercooked meat or food or water contaminated with oocysts shed by felids and transplacental transmission. We therefore assess the possible risk of transmission through eating undercooked donkey meat by conducting a market based cross-sectional study design to determine the presence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in trade donkeys in Ganawuri district, Riyom Local Government Area, Plateau State, North Central, Nigeria.
Materials and methods: One hundred and thirteen (113) serum samples were collected from trade donkeys at the market and analyzed for T. gondii antibodies using latex agglutination test (LAT). Serum samples with LAT titre >10µl/ml were considered positive.
Results: The distribution of the donkeys based on their sources showed that greater proportions (61.1%) were from North Eastern part of the country. The study showed that 31 of the serum samples collected and analyzed were positive for T. gondii antibodies given an overall prevalence of 27.4%. The prevalence ranges between 22.2 and 33.3% across the states where the donkeys were sourced. The study showed that seropositivity increases with age (p=0.003; OR = 11.8) and ranges between 12.5 and 47.2%. The prevalence did not vary significantly based on sex and source/location (p=0.494, OR = 0.05; 0.920, 1.45, respectively).
Conclusion: This study showed that trade donkeys at Ganawuri district market have antibodies to T. gondii and suggest a public health risk from the consumption of undercooked donkey meat.
Key words: antibodies, cross-sectional, donkeys, prevalence, public Health, trade, Toxoplasma gondii