Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases
Title: Serological evidence of besnoitiosis in Canadian wild ruminants and strong cross-reaction between Besnoitia besnoiti and B. tarandi species Authors
Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 6, 2012
Publication Date: October 8, 2012
Citation: Gutierrez-Esposito, D., Ortega-Mora, L., Gajadhar, A., Garcia-Lunar, P., Dubey, J.P., Alvarez-Garcia, G. 2012. Serological evidence of besnoitiosis in Canadian wild ruminants and strong cross-reaction between Besnoitia besnoiti and B. tarandi species. Veterinary Parasitology. 190:19-28. Interpretive Summary: Besnoitia, Toxoplasma, and Neospora are related single-celled parasites that cause clinical disease in livestock. Differential diagnosis of these infections is difficult because these parasites have shared antigens. For example Toxoplasma immune serum reacts with Besnoitia parasites in sections of infected tissues. Besnoitia besnoiti affects cattle and the disease is now spreading from Africa to Europe. In the present study, the authors found serological evidence of its presence in cattle and wildlife in Canada. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and veterinarians.
Technical Abstract: Bovine besnoitiosis, caused by Besnoitia besnoiti, is considered to be emergent in Europe and responsible for severe economic losses due to the chronic and debilitating course of the disease but has not been reported in North America. Besnoitia tarandi is a related species and it has been reported in reindeer and caribou from different locations of the Arctic Pole, including North America. Diagnosis of clinical besnoitiosis is largely based on the recognition of dermal grossly visible tissue cysts of Besnoitia. Nothing is known of cross reactivity between B. besnoiti and B. tarandi species. Here, we evaluated use of serological tests employed in the diagnosis of bovine besnoitiosis for the detection of Besnoitia spp. infections in different wild ruminant species (caribou, elk, mule-deer, white-tailed deer, moose, musk ox and bison) from Canada and investigated cross-reactivity between Besnoitia besnoitia and B. tarandi species by indirect immunofluorescence antibody test and Western blot. For this, species specific sera were obtained in rabbits experimentally infected with B. besnoiti and B. tarandi. Marked cross reactivity was found between B. besnoiti and B. tarandi. We, for the first time, found antibodies to Besnoitia spp. infection in 16 of 20 caribous (Ranginfer tarandus, seven of 18 musk ox (Ovibos moschatus), one of three bison (Bison bison), but not in 20 elk (Cervus canadensis), 20 white tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), and 20 moose (Alces alces) in Canada; results were similar using B. besnoiti and B. tarandi as antigen. There was no cross reactivity between Besnoitia species and Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii.