Neospora caninum PCR test for dogs and cats
dog and cat assay data sheet
X0011 - Ultrasensitive qualitative detection of
Neospora caninum by real time polymerase chain reaction
X0011 is included
on P0036 - canine neurological
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
In adult 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
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 can result.
The life 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 nervous tissue.
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
N. caninum infections.
Molecular detection by polymerase chain reaction is the most specific,
sensitive and rapid method to detect this parasite (Baszler et al.,
Help confirm the disease causing agent
Shorten the time required to confirm a clinical
diagnosis of N. caninum
Help ensure that animal populations are free of
Early prevention of spread of this parasite among a
group of animals
Minimize human exposure to this parasite
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.
requirement: 0.2 ml feces, or rectal swab, or 0.2 ml whole blood in EDTA (purple
top) tube, or 0.2 ml CSF, or 0.2 ml fresh, frozen
or fixed brain, heart or aborted tissue.
Contact Zoologix if advice is needed to determine an appropriate specimen type for a specific diagnostic application. For specimen types not listed here, please contact Zoologix to confirm specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.
For all 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
2 business days
Qualitative real time PCR