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Terrestrial runoff influences the transport and contamination levels of Toxoplasma gondii in marine organisms

Li, Man Yao; Kang, Yuan Huan; Sun, Wen Chao; Hao, Zhi Peng; Elsheikha, Hany M.; Cong, Wei


Man Yao Li

Yuan Huan Kang

Wen Chao Sun

Zhi Peng Hao

Wei Cong


There is a growing concern regarding the potential adverse impact of Toxoplasma gondii contamination of the marine environment on marine wildlife and public health. Terrestrial runoff is a significant route for dissemination of T. gondii oocysts from land to sea. Yet, the influence of terrestrial runoff on T. gondii prevalence in marine animals in China is largely unknown. To address this concern, we examined the presence of T. gondii in marine oysters Crassostrea spp., rockfish Sebastes schlegelii (S. schlegelii), fat greenling fish Hexagrammos otakii (H. otakii), and Asian paddle crab Charybdis japonica (C. japonica) using a PCR assay targeting T. gondii B1 gene. A total of 1920 samples were randomly collected, in Jan-Dec 2020, from terrestrial runoff areas (TRA, TRB, and TRC) and non-terrestrial runoff area (Grape bay) in Weihai, China. T. gondii prevalence in TRB and TRC was 6.04 % and 5.83 %, respectively, which was higher than 2.29 % detected in the non-terrestrial runoff area. The highest prevalence was detected in Crassostrea spp., and a correlation was observed between T. gondii prevalence and weight of Crassostrea spp. The temperature, but not precipitation, significantly correlated with T. gondii prevalence. Understanding the fate of T. gondii delivered to oceans by terrestrial runoff is critical for predicting future disease risks for marine wildlife and humans.


Li, M. Y., Kang, Y. H., Sun, W. C., Hao, Z. P., Elsheikha, H. M., & Cong, W. (2022). Terrestrial runoff influences the transport and contamination levels of Toxoplasma gondii in marine organisms. Science of the Total Environment, 851, Article 158168.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 16, 2022
Online Publication Date Aug 19, 2022
Publication Date Dec 10, 2022
Deposit Date Aug 25, 2022
Publicly Available Date Aug 26, 2022
Journal Science of the Total Environment
Print ISSN 0048-9697
Electronic ISSN 1879-1026
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 851
Article Number 158168
Keywords Pollution; Waste Management and Disposal; Environmental Chemistry; Environmental Engineering
Public URL
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