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A longitudinal study of Neospora caninum infection on three dairy farms in Brazil
- Cardoso, José Márcio Sbruzzi, Amaku, Marcos, dos Santos Araújo, Ana Julia Urias, Gennari, Solange Maria
- Veterinary parasitology 2012 v.187 no.3-4 pp. 553-557
- Neospora caninum, antibody detection, blood sampling, dairy cattle, dairy farming, dairy herds, daughters, farms, longitudinal studies, parasites, seroconversion, Brazil
- Neospora caninum is an apicomplexan protozoan parasite that is one of the most important infectious causes of abortion in both dairy and beef cattle in many countries. The objectives of this longitudinal study were to determine the prevalence, rates of vertical and horizontal transmission of N. caninum and hazard for culling of N. caninum-seropositive animals in three Brazilian dairy herds. Blood samples from all animals were collected nine times at each of the three farms over a two-year period. Serum was tested for antibodies against N. caninum using the indirect fluorescent antibody test with a cutoff value of 1:100. The percentage of N. caninum-positive samples at each sampling time ranged at Farm I from 3.32% to 11.71%, at Farm II from 3.90% to 22.06% and at Farm III from 3.90% to 22.06%. The number of positive serological reactions varied in relation to the number of repeated samples taken from individual animals at each farm. In all herds, there was a high degree (P<0.05) of association between the N. caninum serological status of dams and daughters. The seropositive conversion rate was estimated as 0.37%, 3.00% and 6.94% per 100 cow-years at Farms I, II and III, respectively. The seronegative conversion rate was estimated as 31.58% and 11.11% per 100 cow-years at Farms I and III, respectively. In all herds, there was no difference (P>0.05) in the culling rate between the cattle that were seropositive cattle and seronegative for N. caninum infection. The results from this study confirm the importance of vertical transmission in the epidemiology of N. caninum. Although a few positive seroconversions indicated horizontal transmission, it does not appear to be the major route of infection for N. caninum.