Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Neosporosis is a recently recognized protozoan disease of livestock and companion animals. The causative agent, Neospora caninum, is a major cause of abortion in dairy cattle in many countries including the United States. However, most of the data in the U.S. were derived from cattle in the western states. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and Animal Diagnostic Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University report for the first time neosporosis as a cause of abortion in 34 of 688 cattle in the State of Pennsylvania. These findings will be of interest to veterinarians, cattlemen, and parasitologists.
Neospora caninum was found in fetal tissues of 34 of 688 cases of bovine abortion submitted to the Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Laboratory System during the period from May 1994 to November 1996. The aborted fetuses ranged in gestational age from 3 to 8 months. Microscopic lesions consisted primarily of encephalitis and myocarditis. A labeled (strept) avidin-biotin staining procedure using anti-N. caninum polyclonal rabbit serum revealed N. caninum organisms within the fetal brain (27 of 27), heart (10 of 13), placenta (5 of 6), kidney (2 of 2), liver (1 of 4) and skeletal muscle (1 of 1).