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Toxoplasma gondii is a parasitic disease that infects wildlife, domestic animals and humans, and can affect health if left untreated. Little is known about the prevalence of T. gondii infections in livestock and wildlife that reside around Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Even less is known about the behavioral and health consequence of these infections in native wild mammals. To fill in these knowledge gaps, researchers will investigate the relationship between T. gondii infection, hormones and risk-taking behavior in wild hyenas living in proximity to agricultural communities and the Reserve. The team also will compare the longevity and causes of mortality between T. gondii-infected versus uninfected spotted hyenas to study the health and fitness burden on affected wildlife. This study will document how T. gondii transmits into wild animal populations, the influence of pastoral land use on the disease and insights into the overall health consequences for wild African mammals.

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Michigan State University
Study country
United States
Zachary M. Laubach, MSc
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