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Isolation of viable Neospora caninum from brains of wild gray wolves (Canis lupus)

J.P. Dubey, M.C. Jenkins, L.R. Ferreira, S. Choudhary, S.K. Verma, O.C.H. Kwok, R. Fetterer, E. Butler, M. Carstensen
Veterinary parasitology 2014 v.201 no.1-2 pp. 150-153
Canis latrans, Canis lupus, DNA, Neospora caninum, abortion (animals), bioassays, brain, cattle, dingoes, disease reservoirs, dogs, gene targeting, heart, interferon-gamma, intermediate hosts, mice, new host records, oocysts, parasites, polymerase chain reaction, tachyzoites, wolves, Minnesota
Neospora caninum is a common cause of abortion in cattle worldwide. Canids, including the dog and the dingo (Canis familiaris), the coyote (Canis latrans), and the gray wolf (Canis lupus) are its definitive hosts that can excrete environmentally resistant oocysts in the environment, but also can act as intermediate hosts, harboring tissue stages of the parasite. In an attempt to isolate viable N. caninum from tissues of naturally infected wolves, brain and heart tissue from 109 wolves from Minnesota were bioassayed in mice. Viable N. caninum (NcWolfMn1, NcWolfMn2) was isolated from the brains of two wolves by bioassays in interferon gamma gene knockout mice. DNA obtained from culture-derived N. caninum tachyzoites of the two isolates were analyzed by N. caninum-specific Nc5 polymerase chain reaction and confirmed diagnosis. This is the first report of isolation of N. caninum from tissues of any wild canid host.