Neospora caninum is considered as one of the main causes of reproductive failure in cattle. Vertical transmission is the main route of infection in the bovine host and plays an important role in maintaining the parasite in the herd. Molecular detection of N. caninum is important to determine the occurrence of the disease and to evaluate the genetic diversity of the parasite. The present study aimed at assessing the vertical transmission of N. caninum using molecular techniques to detect the parasite in tissue samples from bovine fetuses collected in a slaughterhouse in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Seventy fetuses and 70 blood samples from pregnant cows were collected in a slaughtering line. Fresh samples of heart and brain tissue from fetuses were analyzed using molecular assays. Serum samples from fetuses and cows were subjected to an indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) to detect antibodies against N. caninum. Nested PCR targeting the internal transcriber 1 (ITS1) region of the protozoan organism was used in the molecular testing. From the total of fetuses examined, 71.42% were positive for N. caninum by PCR. A higher number of heart samples (47.1%) were positive for the parasite using this technique. Antibodies against the protozoa were detected in 12.9% of serum samples of cows; 2.8% of fetuses were seropositive for this pathogen. Our results show that vertical transmission of N. caninum occurs in cattle from this region of Brazil, and that the use of different diagnostic techniques contributes to successful diagnosis of congenital transmission of the parasite in cattle.
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We would like to thank the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo for financial support (FAPESP-IC no. 2016/10938-4).
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de Aquino Diniz, L.V., Minutti, A.F., de Souza Lima Nino, B. et al. Vertical transmission of Neospora caninum in bovine fetuses from a slaughterhouse in Brazil. Trop Anim Health Prod 51, 1751–1755 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-019-01828-y
- Congenital transmission