Submitted to: Parasitology Today
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: November 15, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Neospora caninum is a single celled parasite that causes abortion in livestock and paralysis in companion animals. Dogs are its main reservoir hose and excrete environmentally resistant stage in feces (oocyst). Neospora oocysts have been confused with another parasite, Hammondia heydorni also present in dog feces. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center present evidence that distinguishes Neospora caninum from Hammondia heydorni. These results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists and veterinarians.
Neospora caninum and Hammondia heydorni are two coccidian parasites with structurally similar oocysts in canine feces. It was recently proposed that they are one species. In this paper, we review biology and structure of these parasites and present evidence that N. caninum and H. heydorni are separate species.