Seroprevalences of anti-Sarcocystis neurona and anti-Neospora hughesi antibodies among healthy equids in the United States

Kaitlyn E. James Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

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Woutrina A. Smith Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

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Patricia A. Conrad Department of Medicine and Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

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Andrea E. Packham Department of Medicine and Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

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Leopoldo Guerrero Department of Medicine and Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

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Mitchell Ng Department of Medicine and Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

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Nicola Pusterla Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE To describe the general seroprevalence of anti-Sarcocystis neurona and anti-Neospora hughesi antibodies among healthy equids by use of indirect fluorescent antibody tests and determine potential risk factors for seropositivity.

DESIGN Cross-sectional study.

SAMPLE Whole blood samples collected from 5,250 equids (1 sample/animal) across 18 states in the United States during October 2013.

PROCEDURES Information regarding potential risk factors (geographic region, breed, primary use, sex, and age) was collected along with the blood samples. For each equid, an indirect fluorescent antibody test was used to determine serum titers of antibody against each of the 2 protozoal parasites. Mixed-effects logistic regression models were created to determine ORs for seropositivity.

RESULTS The overall seroprevalence of anti-S neurona and anti-N hughesi antibodies in the tested equids was 78% and 34%, respectively. Of the equids, 31% were seropositive and 18% were seronegative for antibodies against both parasites. Factors associated with equids being seropositive for anti-S neurona antibodies were residence in the South, warmblood breed, and age > 5 years. Seroprevalence of anti-N hughesi antibodies did not differ among equids in different states across the country, but warmblood breed and age > 5 years were associated with seropositivity.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE With regard to risk factors for S neurona and N hughesi exposure and antibody response among tested equids, older age was not unexpected; however, the influences of warmblood breed and geographic location on seropositivity for anti-S neurona antibody but not for anti-N hughesi antibody deserve further investigation.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To describe the general seroprevalence of anti-Sarcocystis neurona and anti-Neospora hughesi antibodies among healthy equids by use of indirect fluorescent antibody tests and determine potential risk factors for seropositivity.

DESIGN Cross-sectional study.

SAMPLE Whole blood samples collected from 5,250 equids (1 sample/animal) across 18 states in the United States during October 2013.

PROCEDURES Information regarding potential risk factors (geographic region, breed, primary use, sex, and age) was collected along with the blood samples. For each equid, an indirect fluorescent antibody test was used to determine serum titers of antibody against each of the 2 protozoal parasites. Mixed-effects logistic regression models were created to determine ORs for seropositivity.

RESULTS The overall seroprevalence of anti-S neurona and anti-N hughesi antibodies in the tested equids was 78% and 34%, respectively. Of the equids, 31% were seropositive and 18% were seronegative for antibodies against both parasites. Factors associated with equids being seropositive for anti-S neurona antibodies were residence in the South, warmblood breed, and age > 5 years. Seroprevalence of anti-N hughesi antibodies did not differ among equids in different states across the country, but warmblood breed and age > 5 years were associated with seropositivity.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE With regard to risk factors for S neurona and N hughesi exposure and antibody response among tested equids, older age was not unexpected; however, the influences of warmblood breed and geographic location on seropositivity for anti-S neurona antibody but not for anti-N hughesi antibody deserve further investigation.

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