Animal-friendly production systems may cause re-emergence of Toxoplasma gondii

A. Kijlstra, B.G. Meerburg, M.F. Mul

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)


    Toxoplasmosis is still one of the most common parasitic infections in the world, although in Europe improvements in hygiene and the introduction of `total` indoor farming in livestock production have rapidly diminished the problem during the past decades. As a result of public dislike, however, introduction of alternative and more acceptable animal-friendly livestock production systems including outdoor access are gaining ground. Potentially these systems can lead to increased prevalence of certain zoonotic diseases, including Toxoplasmosis. To retain prevalence of this disease in humans at current levels, emphasis should be on disease control at farm-level. This article provides an analysis of various risk factors for farm animals to get infected with Toxoplasma gondii. Access of cats to the farm premises, the use of compost and goat whey, and rodent control were identified as possible risk factors that should be addressed. Consumers should be aware of the fact that Toxoplasma infection, besides through meat, can also be caused by the uptake of contaminated water, soil, fruit and vegetables.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)119-132
    JournalNJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


    • organic farming
    • organic foods
    • pigmeat
    • food safety
    • risk factors
    • rodents
    • parasitoses
    • toxoplasma gondii
    • polymerase-chain-reaction
    • congenital transmission
    • ocular toxoplasmosis
    • united-states
    • wild mammals
    • risk-factors
    • swine farms
    • infection
    • prevalence
    • cats

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