Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/10/2006
Publication Date: 12/1/2006
Citation: Goodwin, D., Gennaari, S.M., Howe, D.K., Dubey, J.P., Zajac, A.M., Lindsay, D.S. 2006. Prevalence of antibodies to encephalitozoon cuniculi in horses in Brazil. Veterinary Parasitology. 142: 380-382. Interpretive Summary: Encephalitozoon are single celled parasites that can cause neurological signs in many species of animals including humans. Little is known of this infection in horses. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and The Virginia Tech report presence of antibodies in clinically normal horses. These results will be of interest to biologists, veterinarians and parasitologists
Technical Abstract: Encephalitozoon cuniculi has been associated with natural cases of abortion and still-birth in horses. However, little is known abut the prevalence of this parasite in horses. We examined serva from 559 horses from Brazil for antibodies to E. cuniculi using the indirect immunofluorescent antibody (IFA) test and the direct agglutination test (DAT). We found that 79 (14.1%) were positive in the IFA test and 70 (12.5%) were positive in the DAT. Copmpared to the IFA as the "gold standard" the sensitivity of the DAG was 94.0% and the specificity was 96.1%. Out study indicates that horses in Brazil are exposed to E. cunculi.