Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis Associated with Neosporosis in 3 Horses

Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616 2007, USA.
Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.88). 11/2007; 21(6):1405-8. DOI: 10.1892/07-054.1
Source: PubMed
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Available from: Monica Aleman, Oct 02, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: RESUMO Dentre as enfermidades neurológicas que acometem os equinos, a mieloencefalite protozoária equina (EPM) encontra-se em posição de destaque. Levando em consideração a importância da EPM no contexto das doenças neurológicas, esta revisão aborda entre outros, os aspectos epidemiológicos, clínicos, diagnósticos e terapêuticos da EPM, causadas tanto pelo Sarcocystis neurona quanto pelo Neospora caninum e Neospora hughesi, cujo objetivo é contribuir para a atualização dos profissionais envolvidos na área de clínica médica de equinos. ABSTRACT Among the neurological disorders that affect the horses, the equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) is the most important. Considering the importance of EPM in the context of neurological diseases, this review covers among others, the epidemiological, clinical, diagnoses and treatment of EPM, caused by Sarcocystis neurona as by Neospora caninum and Neospora hughesi and this study aims at contributing for the update of the veterinarians involved with equine internal medicine.
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    ABSTRACT: A protozoal parasite identified as Neospora hughesi was found in inflammatory lesions in the central nervous system of a Canadian-born adult horse presented with neurological signs. This is believed to be the first case of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) caused by Neospora hughesi in a horse outside of the United States.
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    ABSTRACT: A 23-year-old female mule was presented for bilateral ocular abnormalities and an abnormal pelvic limb gait. Anisocoria, unilateral enophthalmos, medial strabismus, ptosis, pupillary light reflex deficits, and bilateral reticulated pigmentary retinopathy were observed on ophthalmic examination. Neurologic abnormalities included right-sided facial nerve paralysis, extensive symmetric muscle atrophy, and asymmetric pelvic limb ataxia with an abnormal pelvic limb gait. A positive titer (1:40) for equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) associated with Neospora hughesi was obtained from cerebrospinal fluid with minimal (<1 red blood cell/microL) blood contamination. Muscle biopsies of the sacrocaudalis dorsalis medialis muscle revealed predominantly type I neurogenic muscle atrophy, consistent with a diagnosis of equine motor neuron disease (EMND). Treatment included a 2-month course of ponazuril (5 mg/kg PO q24 h), vitamin E (8000 IU PO q24 h), and selenium (2 mg PO q24 h). Clinical improvement was not observed after 2 months although the mule remained stable. Clinical deterioration was reported upon discontinuation of the ponazuril after a 2-month course. Concurrent disease with EPM associated with N. hughesi and EMND should be considered in cases demonstrating cranial nerve abnormalities, pronounced symmetric muscle atrophy, unusual asymmetric gait abnormalities, and reticulated pigmentary retinopathy.
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