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Congenital transmission of Neospora caninum in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

J.P. Dubey, M.C. Jenkins, O.C.H. Kwok, L.R. Ferreira, S. Choudhary, S.K. Verma, I. Villena, E. Butler, M. Carstensen
Veterinary parasitology 2013 v.196 no.3-4 pp. 519-522
DNA, Neospora caninum, Odocoileus virginianus, agglutination tests, antibodies, bioassays, brain, cell culture, dams (mothers), deer, disease reservoirs, disease transmission, fetus, mice, neosporosis, polymerase chain reaction, tachyzoites, wildlife, United States
Neosporosis is an important cause of bovine abortion worldwide. Many aspects of transmission of Neospora caninum in nature are unknown. The white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) is considered one of the most important wildlife reservoirs of N. caninum in the USA. During the hunting seasons of 2008, 2009, and 2010, brains of 155 white-tailed deer fetuses were bioassayed in mice for protozoal isolation. Viable N. caninum (NcWTDMn1, NcWTDMn2) was isolated from the brains of two fetuses by bioassays in mice, and subsequent propagation in cell culture. Dams of these two infected fetuses had antibodies to N. caninum by Neospora agglutination test at 1:100 serum dilution. DNA obtained from culture-derived N. caninum tachyzoites of the two isolates with Nc5 PCR confirmed diagnosis. Results prove congenital transmission of N. caninum in the white tailed deer for the first time.