Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 10, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Neospora caninum is a single-celled parasite that causes abortion in livestock and paralysis in companion animals. Identification of the parasite in fetal tissue is the only definite test for the diagnosis of neosporosis abortion. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and the University of Wyoming evaluated all available serological tests for the diagnosis of neosporosis abortion in sera of dairy cows from a herd in California that had aborted due to neosporosis. All serological tests including various ELISA's and indirect florescent antibody tests detected antibodies to N. caninum in cow's sera but none were able to distinguish between aborting and nonaborting cows. The results will be of interest to veterinarians, dairy farmers and parasitologists.
Serum samples from 70 (33 aborting and 37 non-aborting) dairy cows from a herd in California were analyzed for Neospora caninum antibodies in different laboratories by various serologic assays including enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with recombinant proteins (Nc4.1 and Nc14.1), kinetic ELISA, whole tachyzoite lysate ELISA, Iscom ELISA, antigen capture competitive inhibition ELISA, and by the indirect fluorescent antibody test. Eighteen percent of pregnant cows in this herd had aborted within 2 mo of the index case. All 70 cows had antibodies to N. caninum by at least 1 of the tests. Antibody levels to N. caninum in aborting cows as a group were generally higher than in non-aborting cows. However, none of the serological tests could predict or diagnose neosporosis-induced abortion in cattle.