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Title: Prevalence of antibodies to Sarcocystis neurona in cats from Virginia and Pennsylvania

item Hsu, Vasha
item Grant, David
item Dubey, Jitender
item Zajac, Anne
item Lindsay, David

Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/15/2010
Publication Date: 9/1/2010
Citation: Hsu, V., Grant, D.G., Dubey, J.P., Zajac, A.M., Lindsay, D.S. 2010. Prevalence of antibodies to Sarcocystis neurona in cats from Virginia and Pennsylvania. Journal of Parasitology. 96:800-801.

Interpretive Summary: Species of the genus Sarcocystis are single celled parasites. Sarcocystis neurona, is a major cause of neurological disease in horses and many other species of animals. It is transmitted via the fecal oral route from opossums, the only known definitive host, to an unusually wide array of intermediate hosts including raccoons, armadillos, cats, marine mammals, skunks and brown-headed cowbirds. In the present paper authors report Seroprevalence of S. neurona antibodies in cats. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and veterinarians.

Technical Abstract: Sarcocystis neurona is best known as the causative agent of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis of horses in the Americas. Domestic cats (Felis domesticus) were the first animals described as an intermediate host for S. neurona. Sarcocystis neurona associated encephalitis has been reported in naturally infected cats in the United States. Thus, cats can be implicated in the life cycle of S. neurona as natural intermediate hosts. The present study examined the seroprevalence of IgG antibodies to merozoites of S. neurona in populations of domestic cats from Virginia and Pennsylvania. Overall, sera or plasma from 441 cats (Virginia = 232; Pennsylvania = 209) were tested by an indirect immunofluorescent assay at a 1:50 dilution. Antibodies to S. neurona were found in 33 (7%) of 441 cats. Of which, 22 (9%) of the 232 cats from Virginia and 10 (5%) of the 209 cats from Pennsylvania were positive for antibodies to S. neurona.