detection of Neospora
caninum by real time polymerase chain reaction
included in P0017
- equine protozoal myeloencephalitis panel and in
P0014 - equine neurological panel.
is a recently discovered, apicomplexan, coccidial protozoan that
causes abortion in many mammals including cattle, goats, horses
and sheep. Some evidence also indicates association of this
organism with neonatal neurological and neuromuscular disease in
mammals such as dogs, cattle, sheep and deer.
bovine abortion has been reported in many countries including
the United States, Mexico, Canada, western Europe, Central and
South America, Australia and Japan.
N. caninum is a
major cause of bovine abortion in USA. Prospective and
retrospective studies show that 20-45% of bovine abortions in
drylot dairies in California were attributable to neosporosis.
cattle infected with this parasite, abortion seems to be the
only clinical sign. Bovine fetuses from three months to nine
months of gestational age can be infected with this parasite,
with most cases occurring between the fifth and seventh month of
gestation. Infected calves may be born clinically normal or with
neurological signs such as weakness and ataxia.
neonatal dogs, progressive hind limb paresis and paralysis are
the most common clinical signs. Skin involvement has only been
reported in older dogs. In infected adult horses
encephalomyelitis, polyradiculoneuritis and myeloencephalitis
cycle of this parasite consists of three stages known as
tachyzoite, tissue cyst and oocyst. Tachyzoites are the rapidly
multiplying form of the parasite that invades a variety of
cells, producing the characteristic lesions of neosporosis in
affected animals. The latent form is the tissue cyst, which
contains bradyzoites and is found in peripheral and central
other animals may be potential hosts of this parasite, only dogs
can serve as both definitive (ie have tachyzoites in their
tissues) and intermediate (ie shed oocysts in their feces) hosts
of this parasite. When a definitive host ingests tissue cysts
from infected intermediate host tissues, sexual development of
this parasite takes place. This results in shedding of
unsporulated oocysts in the feces. Sporulation occurs outside
the host. Intermediate hosts such as cattle, dogs, sheep, goats,
horses and deer may then become infected by ingesting food or
water contaminated with the oocysts.
infection is sometimes diagnosed by serology or by specific
identification of parasites within tissue lesions using
immunohistochemistry (IHC) techniques. However, these methods
are not very sensitive and cannot detect some
infections. Molecular detection by polymerase chain reaction is
the most specific, sensitive and rapid method to detect this
parasite (Baszler et al., 1999).
Help confirm the disease causing agent
Shorten the time required to confirm a clinical
diagnosis of N. caninum
Help ensure that herds and animal populations are free of
Early prevention of spread of this parasite among a herd
Minimize personnel exposure to this parasite
Safety monitoring of biological products and vaccines
that derive from animals
Baszler, T.V., Gay, L.J., Long, M.T. and Mathison, B.A. (1999)
Detection by PCR of Neospora caninum in Fetal Tissues from
Spontaneous Bovine Abortions. J. Clin. Microbiol. 37: 4059-4064.
Specimen requirements: 0.2 ml feces, or rectal swab, or 0.2 ml whole blood in EDTA
(purple top) or ACD (yellow top) tube, or 0.2 ml CSF, or 0.2 ml
fresh, frozen or fixed brain, heart or aborted tissue.
types other than those listed here, please call to confirm
specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.
specimen types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or during
very warm weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped and ship
with a cold pack unless more stringent shipping requirements are
specified. Frozen specimens should be shipped so as to remain
frozen in transit. See shipping
instructions for more information.
2 business days
Qualitative real time PCR