|Fernandez, M. I. G.|
Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/25/2006
Publication Date: 10/1/2006
Citation: Almeria, S., Vidal, D., Ferrer, D., Pabon, M., Fernandez, M., Ruiz-Fons, F., Alzaga, V., Marco, I., Calvete, C., Lavin, S., Gortazar, C., Lopez-Gatius, F., Dubey, J.P. 2006. Seroprevalence of Neospora caninum in non-carnivorous wildlife from Spain. Veterinary Parasitology. 143:21-28. Interpretive Summary: Neospora caninum is a single-celled parasite. It causes abortion in cattle and paralysis in companion animals. It is the most important cause of abortion in dairy cattle. Dogs and coyotes are its definitive hosts and main reservoirs of infection. This parasite is transmitted efficiently from the cow to the calf transplacentally. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and Univ. in Barcoelona, Spain report prevalence of N. caninum in wildlife..The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and veterinarians.
Technical Abstract: Serum samples from 1034 non-carnivorous wildlife from Spain were tested for antibodies to Neospora caninum by competitive screening enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and confirmed by an indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT). High agreement was observed between results in both techniques (kappa value higher than 0.9). Prevalences of N. caninum antibodies positive by both techniques were 11.8 % of 237 red deer (Cervus elaphus), 7.7% of 13 barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia), 6.1% of 33 roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and 0.3% of 298 wild boar (Sus scrofa). In one of 53 hares (Lepus granatensis) , antibodies were found in the ELISA but could not be confirmed by IFAT due to lack of sample. Antibodies to N. caninum were not found in any of 251 wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), 79 fallow deer (Dama dama), 27 mouflon (Ovis ammon), 40 chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica) and three Spanish ibex (Capra pyrenaica). Statistically significant differences were observed between N. caninum seroprevalence in red deer and management of hunting estates (open versus fenced) with higher prevalence in fenced estates, and among sampling sites. Seroprevalence was particularly high in some areas (MO estate in South-Central Spain or some estates of Catalonia, North-East Spain), while no contact with N. caninum was observed in others. Results indicate that in certain areas of Spain, N. caninum is present in wildlife, especially in red deer. These results have important implications in both sylvatic cycles and may influence the prevalence of infection in cattle farms in those areas. To our knowledge, this is the first report of antibodies to N. caninum in wildlife from Spain and the first report of N. caninum antibodies in barbary sheep and wild boar. Keywords: Neospora caninum; Wildlife; Spain; ELISA; IFAT