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Summary

Ninety-five aborted bovine fetuses received from California dairies over a 4.5-year period had histologic lesions of focal encephalitis. Protozoa that reacted with Neospora caninum antiserum were detected in the brain of 88 of these fetuses and in the heart of 1 fetus. Sarcocystis spp schizonts were seen in the vascular endothelium of 1 fetus. It was concluded that a Neospora-like cyst-forming coccidian may be a major cause of abortion in California dairy cattle.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To estimate risk of exposure and age at first exposure to Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora hughesi and time to maternal antibody decay in foals.

Animals—484 Thoroughbred and Warmblood foals from 4 farms in California.

Procedure—Serum was collected before and after colostrum ingestion and at 3-month intervals thereafter. Samples were tested by use of the indirect fluorescent antibody test; cutoff titers were ≥ 40 and ≥ 160 for S neurona and N hughesi, respectively.

Results—Risk of exposure to S neurona and N hughesi during the study were 8.2% and 3.1%, respectively. Annual rate of exposure was 3.1% for S neurona and 1.7% for N hughesi. There was a significant difference in the risk of exposure to S neurona among farms but not in the risk of exposure to N hughesi. Median age at first exposure was 1.2 years for S neurona and 0.8 years for N hughesi. Highest prevalence of antibodies against S neurona and N hughesi was 6% and 2.1%, respectively, at a mean age of 1.7 and 1.4 years, respectively. Median time to maternal antibody decay was 96 days for S neurona and 91 days for N hughesi. There were no clinical cases of equine protozoal myeloenchaphlitis (EPM).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Exposure to S neurona and N hughesi was low in foals between birth and 2.5 years of age. Maternally acquired antibodies may cause false-positive results for 3 or 4 months after birth, and EPM was a rare clinical disease in horses ≤ 2.5 years of age. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1047–1052)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary:

Four dairy cows that had been successfully rebred following fetal Neospora infection and abortion were identified from 2 drylot dairies. All 4 cows had uncomplicated pregnancies with the birth of 5 full-term calves. The calves all had high precolostral serum IgG antibodies. The precolostral antibodies to Neospora sp as determined by indirect fluorescent antibody test ranged from 5,120 to 20,480, compared with maternal serum and colostral antibody titers from 320 to 1,280. Two calves had mild neurologic limb deficits. Three calves had mild nonsuppurative encephalomyelitis and Neospora organisms were found in the CNS of 3 calves. Findings indicate that repeat transplacental Neospora infections occur in cows. Additionally, calves born from cows with a history of Neospora fetal infection and abortion may have congenital Neospora infections and/or neurologic dysfunctions at birth. The Neospora indirect fluorescent antibody test appears to be a useful antemortem test for detection of calves exposed in utero to Neospora organisms.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective—

To determine whether heifers with naturally acquired congenital exposure to Neospora sp would transmit the infection to their offspring during gestation.

Design—

Prospective cohort study.

Animals—

Neonatal heifers on a dairy with a history of Neospora sp infections were selected for the study on the basis of their serum titers to Neospora sp, as determined by the use of indirect fluorescent antibody testing. Seropositive heifers (n = 25) had titers ≥ 1:5,120 and seronegative heifers (25) had titers ≤ 1:80. All heifers were raised and bred on the dairy, and samples were obtained from heifers and their calves at the time of calving.

Procedure—

Blood samples were tested for Neospora sp antibodies. Histologic evaluations, Neospora sp immunohistochemical examinations. and protozoal culturing were performed on samples obtained from selected offspring (second-generation calves).

Results—

Seropositive heifers gave birth to calves with titers ≥ 1:1,280 to Neospora sp. All offspring from seropositive heifers that were necropsied had evidence of Neospora sp infection. All seronegative heifers and their offspring had titers < 1:80 to Neospora sp.

Clinical Implications—

Congenitally acquired Neospora sp infection can persist in clinically normal heifers and be transmitted transplacentally to their offspring. Vertical transmission can be a way by which neosporosis is maintained in herds. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;210:1169–1172)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective—

To estimate the minimum rate of abortion attributable to infection with Neospora sp in selected California dairy herds.

Design—

Prospective study.

Animals—

Twenty-six dairy herds containing 19,708 cows were studied. Fourteen herds had a history of abortions attributable to neosporosis, and 12 were herds in which neosporosis had not been identified as a cause of abortions.

Procedure—

During a 1-year period, all available aborted fetuses were submitted to veterinary diagnostic laboratories to determine the cause of abortion. Reproductive records of cows that aborted were reviewed.

Results—

Neospora sp infection was the major cause of abortion identified (113/266 abortions, 42.5%). The majority (232/266, 87.2%) of the aborted fetuses were submitted from herds with a history of abortions attributable to neosporosis, and Neospora sp infection was identified as the causative agent in 101 of 232 (43.5%) of the abortions from these herds. Fewer aborted fetuses were submitted from the 12 herds that did not have a history of abortion attributable to Neospora sp; however, neosporosis was confirmed as a cause of abortion in 6 of these 12 herds and was identified as the causative agent in 12 of 34 (35.3%) abortions from these herds. The disease was widespread throughout the state (19/26 herds in our study). Available reproductive histories of cows that had abortions attributed to neosporosis were evaluated, and 4 cows were identified that twice aborted Neospora-in-fected fetuses.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association