Epidemiologic Survey on Toxoplasma gondii and Trichinella pseudospiralis Infection in Corvids from Central Italy.Pathogens. 2020 Apr 30; 9(5)P
Free-ranging corvids-678 magpies (Pica pica) and 120 hooded crows (Corvus cornix) from nine protected areas of the Pisa province (central Italy)-were examined for Toxoplasma gondii and Trichinella pseudospiralis. The intracardiac blood clots from 651 magpies and 120 hooded crows were serologically examined for T. gondii. The DNA extracted from the hearts of seropositive birds was then used to perform a nested PCR for the amplification of the T. gondii B1 gene and for genotyping for SAG genetic markers. Breast muscle samples from 678 magpies and 91 hooded crows were tested by an artificial digestion method for Trichinella. Data were statistically analyzed. Forty-five (5.8%-41 magpies and four hooded crows) out of the 771 examined animals scored seropositive for T. gondii, with titers ranging from 1:25 to 1:100. T. gondii DNA was detected in 15 of the 45 positive birds and T. gondii genotypes II and III were identified. No positivity for T. pseudospiralis was found. No significant differences between the two species of corvids and among the different areas of origin were observed for seropositivity to T. gondii. This is the first extensive study on both T. gondii and T. pseudospiralis in magpies and hooded crows, as well as the first detection of T. gondii SAG genotypes in magpies.