Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/9/2011
Publication Date: 3/11/2011
Citation: Houk, A.E., Rosypal, A.C., Grant, D.G., Dubey, J.P., Zajac, A.M., Yabsley, M.J., Lindsay, D.S. 2011. Serological response of cats to experimental Besnoitia darlingi and Besnoitia neotomofelis infections and prevalence of antibodies to these parasites in cats from Virginia and Pennsylvania. Journal of Parasitology. 97:259-261. Interpretive Summary: Besnoitia species are closely related to Toxoplasma gondii that causes abortion and mortality in livestock. These parasites have common antigens that pose problems in diagnosis. In the present paper, researchers describe prevalence antibodies to 2 species of Besnoitia in cats from Pennsylvania. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and veterinarians.
Technical Abstract: Besnoitia darlingi and B. neotomofelis are tissue cyst-forming apicomplexan parasite that use domestic cats (Felis domesticus) as definitive hosts and opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and southern planes woodrats (Neotoma micropus) as intermediate hosts, respectively. Nothing is known about the prevalence of B. darlingi or B. neotomofelis in cats from the United States. Besnotia darlingi infections have been reported in naturally opossums from many states in the United States and B. neotomofelis infections have been reported from southern planes woodrats from Texas but, naturally infected cats have not been identified. The present study examined the IgG antibody response of cats to experimental infection (B. darlingi n = 1 cat; B. neotomofelis n = 3 cats) with tachyzoites and the seroprevalence of IgG antibodies to tachyzoites of B. darlingi and B. neotomofelis in populations of domestic cats from Virginia and Pennsylvania using an indirect immunoflouresent antibody test (IFAT). Studies were conducted to determine if serum from cats inoculated with B. darlingi or B. neotomofelis cross-reacted with tachyzoites of each other or Toxoplasma gondii or merozoites of Sarcocystis neurona in the IFAT. Sera or plasma from 441 cats (Virginia = 232; Pennsylvania = 209) were examined in the IFAT (1:100 dilution cutoff for positive).