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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #299174

Title: Hepatic neosporosis in a dog treated for pemphigus foliaceus

item HOON-HANKS, L - Colorado State University
item REGAN, D - Colorado State University
item Dubey, Jitender
item PORTER, M - Vca All Pets Animal Hospital
item DUNCAN, C - Colorado State University

Submitted to: Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2013
Publication Date: 12/1/2013
Citation: Hoon-Hanks, L., Regan, D., Dubey, J.P., Porter, M., Duncan, C. 2013. Hepatic neosporosis in a dog treated for pemphigus foliaceus. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation. 25:807-810.

Interpretive Summary: Toxoplasmosis and neosporosis are single celled parastic infections caused by Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum, respectively. Until recently these parasites were considered one species. In the present papers authors describe a case of severe liver disease in a dog due to neosporosis and describe differential diagnosis. The results will be useful to veterinarians, and parasitologists.

Technical Abstract: A 4 year old, female, spayed Border Collie was presented for progressive lethargy, inappetence, and weakness of four days duration. The animal had been diagnosed with pemphigus foliaceus three months prior and was receiving combination immunosuppressive therapy. Serum biochemistry revealed severely elevated liver enzymes and bilirubin, and humane euthanasia was elected. Gross postmortem examination revealed a diffusely pale tan to slightly yellow, enlarged, markedly friable liver with an enhanced reticular pattern. Histologically, the hepatic changes consisted of multifocal to coalescing areas of severe vacuolar degeneration, numerous, coalescing foci of hepatocellular necrosis, and myriad intra- and extra-cellular protozoa that reacted immunohistochemically with polyclonal antibodies to Neospora c aninum, and not Toxoplasma gondii. Neosporosis in this case is thought to be due to reactivation of latent N. caninum occurring with the administration of glucocorticoid therapy. Severe complication in the present case highlights the importance of early detection and mitigation of common infections in immunosuppressed animals.