Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/21/2011
Publication Date: 6/15/2011
Citation: Martins, J., Kwok, O.C., Dubey, J.P. 2011. Seroprevalence of Neospora caninum in free-range chickens (Gallus domesticus) from the Americas. Veterinary Parasitology. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2011.05.023.
Interpretive Summary: Neospora caninum is a single-celled parasite, very closely related to Toxoplasma gondii. 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. Sources of infection for dogs are largely unknown. In the present papers the authors document prevalence of N. caninum antibodies in chickens throughout the Americas, and suggest that infected chickens could be source of infection for dogs. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and veterinarians.
Technical Abstract: Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii are biologically and morphologically similar coccidians with canids as definitive hosts for N.caninum and felids for T. gondii. Feral chickens have been used as indicators of soil contamination with T. gondii oocysts because they feed from ground. In the present study we studied seroprevalence of N. caninum in free range chickens from different countries in America as a indicator of soil contamination due to N. caninum oocysts. Antibodies to N. caninum were found in sera of 524 (39.5 %) of 1324 chickens using indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT, titer 1:25 or higher). Seropositive chickens from different countries were: 18.5% of 97 from Mexico, 7.2 % of 97 from USA, 39.5% of 144 from Costa Rica, 71.5% of 102 from Grenada, 44% of 50 from Guatemala, 83.6% of 98 from Nicaragua, 58.1% of 55 from Argentina, 34.3% of 358 from Brazil, 62.3% of 85 from Chile, 11.2% of 62 Colombia, 38.7% of 80 from Guyana, 18% of 50 from Peru and 21.7% of 46 from Venezuela. The results indicate widespread exposure of chickens to N. caninum.