Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #356217

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

Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory

Title: First report of antibodies to Neospora spp. in horses from Portugal

item CRUZ, INEZ - Old Church Veterinary Hospital
item VINHAS, ANA - University Of Tras-Os-montes And Alto Douro
item Dubey, Jitender
item COUTINHO, TERESA - University Of Tras-Os-montes And Alto Douro
item CARDOSA, LUIS - University Of Tras-Os-montes And Alto Douro
item COTOVIO, MARIO - University Of Tras-Os-montes And Alto Douro
item LOPES, ANA - University Of Tras-Os-montes And Alto Douro

Submitted to: Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/15/2018
Publication Date: 3/14/2019
Citation: Cruz, I., Vinhas, A., Dubey, J.P., Coutinho, T., Cardosa, L., Cotovio, M., Lopes, A. 2019. First report of antibodies to Neospora spp. in horses from Portugal. Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Parasitology. vol 28.

Interpretive Summary: Toxoplasmosis, caused by the single celled parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, continues to be a public health probem. In addition to causing severe disease in humans, toxoplasmosis also causes abortions in livestock and mortality in many other hosts. Neosporosis, caused by a parasite Neospora 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 important cause of abortion in cattle worldwide. Neospora also causes abortion and neurological signs in horses. Differential diagnosis of neosporosis from toxoplasmosis is often difficult. In the present paper, the authors report Neospora infection in horses in Portugal for the first time. This paper will be of interest to parasitologists, biologists and veterinarians.

Technical Abstract: Neospora spp. are intracellular protozoa with worldwide distribution and closely related to Toxoplasma gondii, which can infect a variety of mammals including horses. From September 2013 to June 2014, 185 horses from northern, central and southern parts of mainland Portugal were randomly sampled and tested for detection of immunoglobulin (Ig) G antibodies to Neospora spp. using an indirect multi-species enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) commercial test (ID Screen® Neospora caninum Indirect Multi-species; Innovative Diagnostics, Grabels, France). Two horses (1.1%; CI: 0.1–3.8%), one male and one female, were found to be seropositive for Neospora spp. Both seropositive animals were horses housed indoors but with access to outdoors, used for leisure activities and were apparently healthy, with good body condition and with no alterations at physical examination. This was the first serologic survey of antibodies to Neospora spp. carried out in horses from Portugal.