Norwegian Forest cats 4-7 times more likely to have antibodies for Toxoplasma gondii than Burmese cats

In technical language, scientists decide on the presence of toxoplasma gondii in a cat by the presence of immunoglobulin G antibodies. They are checking whether the cat's immune system has developed antibodies to tackle the presence of toxoplasma gondii in their bloodstream. And where the "seroprevalence" is high it means there are more antibodies and therefore the cat was exposed more to toxoplasmosis.

Image: MikeB based on an image in the public domain (assessed).

In this instance, the scientists agreed that toxoplasma gondii "is a widespread zoonotic parasite that is relevant for veterinary and public health". In other words, it can be transmitted from animal to person as for example can Covid-19. And the domestic cat is described as the "definitive host species" of this pathogen.

They studied the following breeds: Birman, British Shorthair, Burmese, Korat, Norwegian Forest Cat, Ocicat, Persian and Siamese. They took plasma samples and analysed for the presence of immunoglobulin G antibodies against T gondii.

Overall, 41.12% of the 1121 cats tested seropositive. In other words, just over 40% of the cats had antibodies to T gondii and therefore had been exposed to the disease.

The Burmese had the lowest seroprevalence at 18.82%. The Persian had the highest at 60%. That means the Persian cat is more likely to have toxoplasmosis than the Burmese cat on a simplistic interpretation of that data.

They also found that the Norwegian Forest cats were 4-7 times more likely to test positive for the disease than Burmese. The same conclusion can be drawn with regard to Birmans and Ocicats.

The older cats were more likely to test seropositive for the disease i.e. more likely to have the disease. They concluded that the prevalence of the disease among the cat breeds varies between breeds and that receiving raw meat was a risk factor for acquiring the disease.

Comment: I am reading the summary to the study which is called Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence varies by cat breed. I don't have the full text in front of me. The point I'm getting to is that this data may be affected by how the breeders operate. We don't know how they operate.

It seems a stretch of the imagination but let's presume that a number of Norwegian Forest cats were bred by breeders who believe that they should feed raw cat food to their cats for better health. Let's presume that they did not handle the food that well and therefore their cats ingested toxoplasma gondii oocysts. That would distort the results.

Other than that, you might presume that Norwegian Forest cats have a predisposition towards acquiring toxoplasmosis but I can't see that being a reasonable suggestion.

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