Encyclopedia of Parasitology

Living Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Neospora caninum

  • Heinz Mehlhorn
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27769-6_2098-2


Greek: neos = new; sporos = seed; Latin: canis = dog.


Species of Coccidia (phylum Apicomplexa = Alveolata).

General Information

This species which might be identical with the originally described species Hammondia heydorni runs its life cycle in dogs and coyotes, which excrete spherical, about 10 μm-sized oocysts (Fig. 1), which form outside of the body two sporocysts each with four sporozoites. Infections of many vertebrate hosts besides cattle lead to the formation of tachyzoites (Fig. 2) and later to a low number of tissue-cysts of the thin-walled Toxoplasma type. Tachyzoites and tissue-cysts are infectious for dogs, which, however, excrete extremely low numbers of oocysts. Malformations or death of puppies of dogs or abortions of fetal calves are said to occur due to infections with Neospora, since, e.g., cattle has a wide distribution of high degrees of antibody titers (Figs. 3 and 4).


Life Cycle Antibody Titer Fecal Sample Microscopical Analysis Wide Distribution 
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Further Reading

  1. Dubey JP, Lindsay DS (1996) A review of Neospora caninum and neosporosis. Vet Parasitol 67:1–59CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Dubey JP et al (1988) Newly recognized protozoan disease of dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 192:1269–1285PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Mehlhorn H, Heydorn AO (2000) Neospora caninum: is it really different from Hammondia heydorni or is it a strain of Toxoplasma gondii. Parasitol Res 86:169–178CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Zoomorphologie, Zellbiologie und ParasitologieHeinrich-Heine-UniversitätDüsseldorfGermany