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Toxoplasma a menace true or false ?

Pictured above: Allied Rock Wallaby Nelly Bay Magnetic Island. Photo Debbie Denison

Is Toxoplasma gondii a threat to the conservation of free-ranging Australian marsupial populations?


. Apparent prevalence of Toxoplasma gongii in Australian marsupial populations varies.

. Frequency of adverse outcomes of T.gondii infection in marsupials is not known.

. Insufficient evidence exists that T. gondii is a threat to marsupial population.


It has often been asserted that Australian marsupial species are particularly susceptible to Toxoplasma gondii infection and to clinical toxoplasmosis following infection.

This implicates T. gondii as a potential threat to marsupial population viability, and contrasts to what is known of T. gondii in populations of several other host species.

We reviewed the literature, and found a lack of scientifically robust evidence addressing the occurrence of T. gondii infection in free-ranging populations of Australian marsupial species, and the impacts of the infection on population health.

Key limitations included a lack of studies in free-ranging marsupial populations, study findings susceptible to substantial chance influences, and selection, misclassification and confounding biases.

The lack of scientifically robust data available on this topic indicates that assertions that free-ranging populations of Australian marsupials are particularly susceptible to T. gondii infection and to toxoplasmosis are premature.

The threat of T. gondii to the viability of free-ranging marsupial populations should therefore be regarded, at this stage, as a hypothesis.

Ref: PubMed

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Apparently, the JCU Vet Science people who tested a number of dead Nelly Bay rock wallabies and found Toxoplasmosis earlier this year, are currently preparing a research paper. Hopefully some details from this will emerge soon to provide a few local facts. Regardless, the public meeting next Tuesday will allow locals to get familiar with the proposed changes to companion animal rules in Townsville generally and cat keeping rules on Magnetic Island in particular. Since all currently registered cats will be able to live on the Island for the rest of their lives, no owner, whatever their age, will be threatened with having their current cat taken away. That is called 'grandfathering' and is a specific aspect of the proposed…

Debra Denison
Debra Denison


3 Allied Rock Wallabies were tested and yes you are correct those wallabies died of Toxoplasmosis. The MCN has the autopsy of one of them.

As for the others they were not tested , when the MCN interviewed the President of MINCA on Wednesday 9th June he told the MCN " Some of the carcasses were to old and as for the others we are only a small group and don't have the funds to pay for the autopsies". The MCN later discovered that the autopises have been carried out free of charge! We also have documentation that verifies this!

The last death of a wallaby due to Toxoplasmosis was on the 1st June. Several wallabies that have been…

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