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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 #337833

Research Project: Detection and Control of Foodborne Parasites for Food Safety

Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory

Title: All about neosporosis in Brazil

item Dubey, Jitender
item GENNARI, SOLANGE - Universidade De Sao Paulo

Submitted to: Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/28/2017
Publication Date: 8/31/2017
Citation: Cerqueira-Cezar, C., Calero-Bernal, R., Dubey, J.P., Gennari, S. 2017. All about neosporosis in Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Parasitology. 26:253-279.

Interpretive Summary: Toxoplasmosis, caused by the single celled parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, continues to be a public health problem. In addition to causing severe disease in humans, toxoplasmosis also causes abortions in livestock and mortality in many other hosts. Neosporosis, a disease that impacts the cardiac and neuromuscular system is caused by a parasite Neospora (N.) caninum, is relatively a newly recognized entity. Until 1988, N. caninum was misdiagnosed as T. Gondii. In 1988, J.P. Dubey (an ARS researcher) in collaboration with others, cultivated and named the parasite N. caninum. Neosporosis is now considered the most frequent cause of abortion in cattle worldwide. In the present paper, the authors review information on neosporosis in Brazil and suggest areas for future research. This paper will be of interest to parasitologists, biologists and veterinarians.

Technical Abstract: Neospora caninum is a protozoan parasite with canids as the definitive hosts and many warm blooded animals as intermediate hosts. Until late 1988, it was misdiagnosed as Toxoplasma gondii when it was named and distinguished from T. gondii. Although these parasites are structurally similar they are biologically different. Neosporosis is a major disease of cattle and has no public health significance whereas cattle are resistant to toxoplasmosis and it is a major disease of humans and many other animals. Since the 1990’s N. caninum has emerged as a major cause of abortion in cattle worldwide, including Brazil. N. caninum also causes clinical infections in several other animal species. Considerable progress has been made in understanding the biology of N. caninum and there are more than 200 papers on this subject from Brazil. However, most of the reports on neosporosis from Brazil are serological surveys scattered in local journals. Overall, little is known of clinical neosporosis in Brazil, particularly in cattle. The few reports pertain to sporadic cases of abortion with no information on epidemics or storms of abortion. The objective of the present review is to summarize all reports from Brazil and suggest topics for further research, including prevalence of N. caninum oocysts in soil or in canine feces, and determining if there are additional definitive hosts, other than the domestic dog. There is need for a national survey in cattle using defined parameters.