First isolation of Neospora caninum from the feces of a naturally infected dog.
ABSTRACT Neospora caninum is a major cause of abortion in cattle worldwide. Cattle become infected with N. caninum by ingesting oocysts from the environment or transplacentally from dam to fetus. Experimentally, dogs can act as definitive hosts, but dogs excrete few oocysts after ingesting tissue cysts. A natural definitive host was unknown until now. In the present study, N. caninum was isolated from the feces of a dog. Gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus) fed feces from the dog developed antibodies to N. caninum in the Neospora caninum agglutination test, and tissue cysts were found in their brains. Neospora caninum was isolated in cell culture and in gamma-interferon gene knockout mice inoculated with brain homogenates of infected gerbils. The DNA obtained from fecal oocysts of the dog, from the brains of gerbils fed dog feces, and from organisms isolated in cell cultures inoculated with gerbil brains was confirmed as N. caninum. The identification of N. caninum oocyst by bioassay and polymerase chain reaction demonstrates that the dog is a natural definitive host for N. caninum.
Article: First epidemiological study on exposure to Neospora caninum in different canine populations in the Algiers District (Algeria).[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Neospora caninum is an important cause of abortion in cattle worldwide. Dogs act as final hosts shedding oocysts in the environment. They can also harbour the extraintestinal stage of the parasite and this may be associated with a fairly rare neuromuscular condition. The sera of 781 dogs from the Algiers District were screened by IFAT for the presence of anti-N. caninum antibodies. These dogs were distributed into four populations: local stray dogs, police dogs, dogs from breeding kennels and farm dogs. The overall seroprevalence was 21.90%. Significant differences were observed between the different populations, the highest prevalence being observed in farm (44.44%) and stray dogs (22.55%). Additionally, the highest titres were observed in farm dogs. Among studied epidemiological parameters, breed, dog origin, season and vaccination status were significantly associated with IFAT results. Additionally, a recently described real time PCR was used on the blood of 100 pound dogs and the results were compared with the serological data. A higher proportion of dogs was found to be positive by PCR when compared to the IFAT results. There was only a fairly low agreement between PCR and IFAT results which suggests that these techniques measured different aspects of the host-parasite relationship. This study indicates that the level of exposure of the canine population of Algiers area to N. caninum is very high. This would indicate a potentially high risk for N. caninum induced abortion in cattle in this region and in Algeria.Parasitology International 09/2009; 58(4):444-50. · 2.13 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Neospora caninum is a parasite regarded a major cause of foetal loss in cattle. A key requirement to an understanding of the epidemiology and pathogenicity of N. caninum is knowledge of the biological characteristics of the species and the genetic diversity within it. Due to the broad intermediate host range of the species, worldwide geographical distribution and its capacity for sexual reproduction, significant biological and genetic differences might be expected to exist. N. caninum has now been isolated from a variety of different host species including dogs and cattle. Although isolates of this parasite show only minor differences in ultrastructure, considerable differences have been reported in pathogenicity using mainly mouse models. At the DNA level, marked levels of polymorphism between isolates were detected in mini- and microsatellites found in the genome of N. caninum. Knowledge of what drives the biological differences that have been observed between the various isolates at the molecular level is crucial in aiding our understanding of the epidemiology of this parasite and, in turn, the development of efficacious strategies, such as live vaccines, for controlling its impact. The purpose of this review is to document and discuss for the first time, the nature of the diversity found within the species Neospora caninum.Diversity. 01/2010;
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ABSTRACT: Gray wolves (Canis lupus) were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park (YNP) after a >70 year absence, and as part of recovery efforts, the population has been closely monitored. In 1999 and 2005, pup survival was significantly reduced, suggestive of disease outbreaks. We analyzed sympatric wolf, coyote (Canis latrans), and red fox (Vulpes vulpes) serologic data from YNP, spanning 1991-2007, to identify long-term patterns of pathogen exposure, identify associated risk factors, and examine evidence for disease-induced mortality among wolves for which there were survival data. We found high, constant exposure to canine parvovirus (wolf seroprevalence: 100%; coyote: 94%), canine adenovirus-1 (wolf pups [0.5-0.9 yr]: 91%, adults [>or=1 yr]: 96%; coyote juveniles [0.5-1.5 yrs]: 18%, adults [>or=1.6 yrs]: 83%), and canine herpesvirus (wolf: 87%; coyote juveniles: 23%, young adults [1.6-4.9 yrs]: 51%, old adults [>or=5 yrs]: 87%) suggesting that these pathogens were enzootic within YNP wolves and coyotes. An average of 50% of wolves exhibited exposure to the protozoan parasite, Neospora caninum, although individuals' odds of exposure tended to increase with age and was temporally variable. Wolf, coyote, and fox exposure to canine distemper virus (CDV) was temporally variable, with evidence for distinct multi-host outbreaks in 1999 and 2005, and perhaps a smaller, isolated outbreak among wolves in the interior of YNP in 2002. The years of high wolf-pup mortality in 1999 and 2005 in the northern region of the park were correlated with peaks in CDV seroprevalence, suggesting that CDV contributed to the observed mortality. Of the pathogens we examined, none appear to jeopardize the long-term population of canids in YNP. However, CDV appears capable of causing short-term population declines. Additional information on how and where CDV is maintained and the frequency with which future epizootics might be expected might be useful for future management of the Northern Rocky Mountain wolf population.PLoS ONE 01/2009; 4(9):e7042. · 4.09 Impact Factor