Objective—To determine whether antibodies against
Sarcocystis neurona could be detected in CSF from
clinically normal neonatal (2 to 7 days old) and young
(2 to 3 months old) foals.
Animals—15 clinically normal neonatal Thoroughbred
Procedure—Serum and CSF samples were obtained
from foals at 2 to 7 days of age and tested for antibodies
against S neurona by means of western blotting.
Serum samples from the mares were also tested
for antibodies against S neurona. Additional CSF
and blood samples were obtained from 5 foals
between 13 and 41 days after birth and between 62
and 90 days after birth.
Results—Antibodies against S neurona were detected
in serum from 13 mares and their foals; antibodies
against S neurona were detected in CSF from 12 of
these 13 foals. Degree of immunoreactivity in serum
and CSF decreased over time, and antibodies against
S neurona were no longer detected in CSF from 2
foals 83 and 84 days after birth. However, antibodies
could still be detected in CSF from the other 3 foals
between 62 and 90 days after birth.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate
that antibodies against S neurona can be detected
in CSF from clinically normal neonatal (2 to 7 days
old) foals born to seropositive mares. This suggests
that western blotting of CSF cannot be reliably used
to diagnose equine protozoal myeloencephalitis in
foals < 3 months of age born to seropositive mares.
(J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:208–211)