Submitted to: Research Trends
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: August 10, 1994
Publication Date: N/A
Neospora caninum is a protozoan parasite structurally and biologically similar to the well known protozoan parasite, Toxoplasma gondii. The complete life cycle of Neospora is not known but tachyzoites and tissue cysts containing bradyzoites are present in infected animals. Neospora was first recognized as a serious disease causing parasite of dogs in 1988. Neospora is now considered a major cause of abortion in dairy cattle in the United States. Infected cows may abort or have calves that are born weak and develop paralysis shortly after birth. The brain, spinal cord and heart are the tissues that most often contain developmental stages. These tissues have lesions consisting of multifocal nonsuppurative necrotizing encephalitis and nonsuppurative myocarditis. Form 2.7 to 24.4% of abortion cases in dairies have been attributed to Neospora in some investigations conducted in the United States. Repeated transmission of Neospora from cow to progeny can occur. The number of times this can occur is not known. Diagnosis of neosporosis is based on identification of stages in tissues using immunohistochemistry. Natural cases of abortions and neonatal mortality attributed to Neospora infection has been observed in goats, sheep, and horses. Our paper reviews the biology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and epidemiology of Neospora infections in cattle and other animals.