An Epidemiological Review on Toxoplasma Prevalence in Sheep and Goat Meat in Iran

Document Type : Mini Review


1 Applied Microbiology Research Center, Systems Biology and Poisonings Institute, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Applied Biotechnology Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Food Hygiene, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran


There are limited parasites that can infect both humans and animals; one of these parasites is Toxoplasma. Its primary host is cats but can infect warm-blooded animals like humans, goats, sheep, cattle, dogs, etc. Although the main transmission route in humans is via food, including raw or undercooked meat, the infection route in animals is via mother to child and ingesting sporulated oocysts. Due to the dangerous results of this protozoan, including abortion, stillbirth, different degrees of mental or physical retardation, prevention of such infection has to be seriously considered. Cattle have a natural resistance against Toxoplasma infection. Therefore, its prevalence has more importance in goats and sheep. According to the studies that have measured toxoplasma gondii infection and its prevalence in the world- and countrywide scale, the infection of this protozoan is highly related to the geographic status, susceptible animals, potential hosts, and eating habits. In the present study, we review the prevalence and epidemiology spectrum of T. gondii in sheep and goat meat in Iran. This knowledge could be useful to biologists, public health workers, physicians, and veterinarians.