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Title: Isolation of viable neospora caninum from brains of wild gray wolves (canis lupus)

item Dubey, Jitender
item Jenkins, Mark
item FERREIRA, L - Non ARS Employee
item CHOUDHARY, S - Non ARS Employee
item VERMA, S - Non ARS Employee
item Kwok, Oliver
item Fetterer, Raymond
item BUTLER, E - Minnesota Department Of Natural Resources
item CARSTENSEN, M - Minnesota Department Of Natural Resources

Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/27/2013
Publication Date: 3/1/2014
Publication URL:
Citation: Dubey, J.P., Jenkins, M.C., Ferreira, L., Choudhary, S., Verma, S., Kwok, O.C., Fetterer, R.H., Butler, E., Carstensen, M. 2014. Isolation of viable neospora caninum from brains of wild gray wolves (canis lupus). Veterinary Parasitology. 201:150-153.

Interpretive Summary: Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum are closely related single celled parasites, so much so that that until 1988 they were considered one species. Although tests to differentiate have been developed, at times their differential diagnosis is still difficult. Recently Toxoplasma gondii like protozoa were isolated from 27 of 109 wolves from Minnesota. In the present paper the authors show that two of the isolates turned out to be Neospora caninum. Since both parasites cause clinical disease in animals, this paper stresses the significance of making correct diagnosis. The results add to our knowledge about diversity of Toxoplasma like parasites in animals. The results should be of interest to biologists and Parasitologists.

Technical Abstract: Neospora caninum is a common cause of abortion in cattle worldwide. Canids, including the dog and the dingo (Canis familiaris), the coyote (Canis latrans), and the gray wolf (Canis lupus) are its definitive hosts, but also can act as intermediate hosts by harbor tissue stages of the parasite that can excrete environmentally resistant oocysts in the environment. In an attempt to isolate viable N. caninum from tissues of naturally infected wolves, brain and heart tissue from 109 wolves from Minnesota were bioassayed in mice. Viable N. caninum (NcWolfMn1, NcWolfMn2) was isolated from the brains of two wolves by bioassays in interferon gamma gene knockout mice, and subsequent propagation in cell culture. DNA obtained from culture-derived N. caninum tachyzoites of the two isolates were analyzed by N. caninum-specific Nc5 PCR and confirmed diagnosis. The results indicate high prevalence of N. caninum in wolves. This is the first report of isolation of N. caninum from tissues of any wild canid host.