Congenital Neospora infection in calves born from cows that had previously aborted Neospora-infected fetuses: Four cases (1990-1992)

Bradd C. Barr From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System (Barr, Sverlow, Anderson, Ardans), the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology (Conrad), and the Department of Medicine (Chauvet), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, the Animal Health Branch, California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA 94271-0001 (Breitmeyer), PO Box 1338, Walnut Grove, CA 95690 (Reynolds), and the Zoonotic Diseases Laboratory, Livestock and Poultry Sciences Institute, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, BARC-East, Beltsville, MD 20705 (Dubey).

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Patricia A. Conrad From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System (Barr, Sverlow, Anderson, Ardans), the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology (Conrad), and the Department of Medicine (Chauvet), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, the Animal Health Branch, California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA 94271-0001 (Breitmeyer), PO Box 1338, Walnut Grove, CA 95690 (Reynolds), and the Zoonotic Diseases Laboratory, Livestock and Poultry Sciences Institute, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, BARC-East, Beltsville, MD 20705 (Dubey).

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Richard Breitmeyer From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System (Barr, Sverlow, Anderson, Ardans), the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology (Conrad), and the Department of Medicine (Chauvet), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, the Animal Health Branch, California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA 94271-0001 (Breitmeyer), PO Box 1338, Walnut Grove, CA 95690 (Reynolds), and the Zoonotic Diseases Laboratory, Livestock and Poultry Sciences Institute, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, BARC-East, Beltsville, MD 20705 (Dubey).

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Karen Sverlow From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System (Barr, Sverlow, Anderson, Ardans), the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology (Conrad), and the Department of Medicine (Chauvet), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, the Animal Health Branch, California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA 94271-0001 (Breitmeyer), PO Box 1338, Walnut Grove, CA 95690 (Reynolds), and the Zoonotic Diseases Laboratory, Livestock and Poultry Sciences Institute, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, BARC-East, Beltsville, MD 20705 (Dubey).

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Mark L. Anderson From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System (Barr, Sverlow, Anderson, Ardans), the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology (Conrad), and the Department of Medicine (Chauvet), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, the Animal Health Branch, California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA 94271-0001 (Breitmeyer), PO Box 1338, Walnut Grove, CA 95690 (Reynolds), and the Zoonotic Diseases Laboratory, Livestock and Poultry Sciences Institute, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, BARC-East, Beltsville, MD 20705 (Dubey).

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James Reynolds From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System (Barr, Sverlow, Anderson, Ardans), the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology (Conrad), and the Department of Medicine (Chauvet), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, the Animal Health Branch, California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA 94271-0001 (Breitmeyer), PO Box 1338, Walnut Grove, CA 95690 (Reynolds), and the Zoonotic Diseases Laboratory, Livestock and Poultry Sciences Institute, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, BARC-East, Beltsville, MD 20705 (Dubey).

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Anne E. Chauvet From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System (Barr, Sverlow, Anderson, Ardans), the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology (Conrad), and the Department of Medicine (Chauvet), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, the Animal Health Branch, California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA 94271-0001 (Breitmeyer), PO Box 1338, Walnut Grove, CA 95690 (Reynolds), and the Zoonotic Diseases Laboratory, Livestock and Poultry Sciences Institute, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, BARC-East, Beltsville, MD 20705 (Dubey).

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J.P. Dubey From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System (Barr, Sverlow, Anderson, Ardans), the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology (Conrad), and the Department of Medicine (Chauvet), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, the Animal Health Branch, California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA 94271-0001 (Breitmeyer), PO Box 1338, Walnut Grove, CA 95690 (Reynolds), and the Zoonotic Diseases Laboratory, Livestock and Poultry Sciences Institute, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, BARC-East, Beltsville, MD 20705 (Dubey).

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Alex A. Ardans From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System (Barr, Sverlow, Anderson, Ardans), the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology (Conrad), and the Department of Medicine (Chauvet), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, the Animal Health Branch, California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA 94271-0001 (Breitmeyer), PO Box 1338, Walnut Grove, CA 95690 (Reynolds), and the Zoonotic Diseases Laboratory, Livestock and Poultry Sciences Institute, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, BARC-East, Beltsville, MD 20705 (Dubey).

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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.

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.

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