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  • Author or Editor: Mary G. Rossano x
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Objective—To determine apparent seroprevalence of antibodies against Sarcocystis neurona in a population of domestic cats previously tested for antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Sample Population—Serum from 196 domestic cats.

Procedure—Banked serum samples submitted to the Michigan State University Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory for T gondii diagnostic testing were tested for antibodies against S neurona by use of an indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) test and a western blot test. Submission records were analyzed to determine descriptive statistics and test for associations between positive results of a test for S neurona and other variables in the data set.

Results—10 of 196 (5%) samples yielded positive results for antibodies against S neurona by use of western blot analysis, whereas 27 samples yielded positive results by use of the IFA. No association was found between S neurona western blot test results and T gondii test results, age, sex, or the reason for T gondii testing. The S neurona IFA titer was positively and significantly associated with positive results of western blot analysis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Domestic cats are not likely to play a substantial role as intermediate hosts in the natural life cycle of S neurona. Results indicate that natural infection of domestic cats may occur, and small animal practitioners should be aware of this fact when evaluating cats with neurologic disease. The S neurona IFA test had lower specificity than western blot analysis. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:511–514)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine whether daily administration of pyrantel tartrate can prevent infection in horses experimentally challenged with Sarcocystis neurona.

Animals—24 mixed-breed specific-pathogen-free weanling horses, 10 adult horses, 1 opossum, and 6 mice.

ProcedureSarcocystis neurona-naïve weanling horses were randomly allocated to 2 groups. Group A received pyrantel tartrate at the labeled dose, and group B received a nonmedicated pellet. Both groups were orally inoculated with 100 sporocysts/d for 28 days, 500 sporocysts/d for 28 days, and 1,000 sporocysts/ d for 56 days. Blood samples were collected weekly, and CSF was collected monthly. Ten seronegative adult horses were monitored as untreated, uninfected control animals. All serum and CSF samples were tested by use of western blot tests to detect antibodies against S neurona. At the end of the study, the number of seropositive and CSF-positive horses in groups A and B were compared by use of the Fisher exact test. Time to seroconversion on the basis of treatment groups and sex of horses was compared in 2 univariable Cox proportional hazards models.

Results—After 134 days of sporocyst inoculation, no significant differences were found between groups A and B for results of western blot tests of serum or CSF. There were no significant differences in number of days to seroconversion on the basis of treatment groups or sex of horses. The control horses remained seronegative.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Daily administration of pyrantel tartrate at the current labeled dose does not prevent S neurona infection in horses. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:846–852)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research