Evidence of vertical transmission of Neospora sp infection in dairy cattle

Mark L. Anderson From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (Anderson, Sverlow, Packham, Barr), the Department of Population Health and Reproduction (Rowe), and the Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology (Conrad), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95617-1770, and Herd Health Consultant (Reynolds), Walnut Grove, CA 95690.

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James P Reynolds From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (Anderson, Sverlow, Packham, Barr), the Department of Population Health and Reproduction (Rowe), and the Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology (Conrad), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95617-1770, and Herd Health Consultant (Reynolds), Walnut Grove, CA 95690.

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Joan D. Rowe From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (Anderson, Sverlow, Packham, Barr), the Department of Population Health and Reproduction (Rowe), and the Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology (Conrad), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95617-1770, and Herd Health Consultant (Reynolds), Walnut Grove, CA 95690.

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Karen W Sverlow From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (Anderson, Sverlow, Packham, Barr), the Department of Population Health and Reproduction (Rowe), and the Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology (Conrad), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95617-1770, and Herd Health Consultant (Reynolds), Walnut Grove, CA 95690.

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Andrea E. Packham From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (Anderson, Sverlow, Packham, Barr), the Department of Population Health and Reproduction (Rowe), and the Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology (Conrad), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95617-1770, and Herd Health Consultant (Reynolds), Walnut Grove, CA 95690.

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Bradd C. Barr From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (Anderson, Sverlow, Packham, Barr), the Department of Population Health and Reproduction (Rowe), and the Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology (Conrad), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95617-1770, and Herd Health Consultant (Reynolds), Walnut Grove, CA 95690.

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Patricia A. Conrad From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (Anderson, Sverlow, Packham, Barr), the Department of Population Health and Reproduction (Rowe), and the Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology (Conrad), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95617-1770, and Herd Health Consultant (Reynolds), Walnut Grove, CA 95690.

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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)

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)

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