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Toxoplasma gondii is an important foodborne zoonosis. Free-range chickens are at particularly high risk of infection and are also excellent indicators of soil contamination by oocysts. In the present study, hearts of 77 freerange chickens were collected at slaughter. T. gondii meat juice enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was performed with a commercial kit, following validation with positive controls, from experimentally infected chickens, and negative ones. Out of 77 samples, only 66 gave sufficient meat juice for serology. Of these, 24 (36.4%) were positive for T. gondii considering the 5*standard deviation values (calculated on the optical density of negative controls), while all the samples were negative considering sample/positive% values. Parasite-specific polymerase chain reaction was carried out on all samples obtained from heart tissue and none were positive for the presence of T. gondii DNA. Results would suggest that further study on the use of meat juice with a validated serological test to detect T. gondii in chickens could lead to widespread epidemiological studies in this important intermediate host. However, sample collection and test specificity require further evaluation.
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