Toxoplasma gondii is responsible for reproductive failure in sheep, and it is considered a zoonotic parasite. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of toxoplasmosis and its risk factors at the farm level. For that, 314 sheep from 18 farms of 7 municipalities of the West part of Santa Catarina State, Southern Brazil were used. To identify possible risk factors associated to the disease, a survey was applied to farmers with questions regarding farm characteristics, type of management, and history of animal reproductive problems. Out of 314 sera samples, 118 (37%, CI 95% 32.3–43.3) were positives for T. gondii. Multivariate analyses showed that allowing cats to have access to sheep feed was significantly associated to toxoplasmosis, with an odds ratio of 2.42. Similarly, keeping cats in the farm increased 1.67 times the chances of T. gondii infection by sheep. Therefore, we concluded that sheep infection by T. gondii in the West of Santa Catarina state is distributed very similarly to other regions of Brazil, and the presence of cats in the property is strongly correlated to the occurrence of the disease.
- Risk factors