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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 #342193

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

Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory

Title: Seroepidemiology of Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora hughesi infections in domestic donkeys (Equus asinus) in Durango, Mexico

Author
item Alvarado-esquivel, Cosme - Juarez University Of The State Of Durango
item Howe, Dan - University Of Kentucky
item Yeargan, Michelle - University Of Kentucky
item Alvarado-esquivel, Domingo - Juarez University Of The State Of Durango
item Zamarripa-barboza, Jose - Healthcare Center No 1
item Dubey, Jitender

Submitted to: Parasite
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/7/2017
Publication Date: 7/21/2017
Citation: Alvarado-Esquivel, C., Howe, D., Yeargan, M., Alvarado-Esquivel, D., Zamarripa-Barboza, J., Dubey, J.P. 2017. Seroepidemiology of Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora hughesi infections in domestic donkeys (Equus asinus) in Durango, Mexico. Parasite. 24:27e.

Interpretive Summary: Sarcocystis neurona, Neospora spp. and Toxoplasma gondii are related single-celled parasites. Until late 1980, only Toxoplasma was known. All 3 parasites can cause neurological diseases that are often difficult to diagnose. Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora cause a fatal illness in horses called Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis. The documented host range for S. neurona and Neospora keeps expanding. Here, in a sample of donkeys from Mexico, antibodies to S. neurona and Neospora hughesi were found in 2.5% and 0.8% of animals, respectively. The donkeys were clinically normal and these findings should be considered while evaluating donkeys for neurological diseases. This paper should be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and veterinarians.

Technical Abstract: The protozoans Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora spp. cause clinical disease in horses. There is currently no information regarding S. neurona and N. hughesi infections in donkeys in Mexico. Here, we determined the presence of antibodies against S. neurona and N. hughesi in donkeys in the northern Mexican state of Durango. Serum samples of 239 domestic donkeys (Equus asinus) sampled in 4 gathering premises (trade centers) for shipment to abattoirs were assayed for S. neurona and N. hughesi antibodies using home-made enzyme linked immunoassays; 6 (2.5%) of the 239 donkeys were seropositive for S. neurona. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to assess the seroprevalence association with the general and raising characteristics of the donkeys. The seroprevalence of S. neurona infection was comparable among donkeys regardless of their origin, health status or sex. Multivariate analysis showed that seropositivity to S. neurona was associated with increased age (OR =2.95; 95% CI: 1.11-7.82; P=0.02). Antibodies to N. hughesi were found in 2 (0.8%) of the 239 donkeys; both exposed donkeys were healthy, females, and 3 and 6 years old. This is the first evidence of S. neurona and N. hughesi infections in donkeys in Mexico.