Acta Parasitologica, Vol. 51, No. 1, 2006, 1-14 Luis M. Ortega-Mora*, Aurora Fernandez-Garcia and Mercedes Gomez-Bautista - Diagnosis of bovine neosporosis: Recent advances and perspectives
Grupo SALUVET, Departamento de Sanidad Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain
*Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Neospora caninum is considered a major cause of abortion in cattle. Appropriate techniques for diagnosis of bovine neosporosis,
both in vivo and in aborted foetuses, have been developed in the last ten years and some of them are commercially available.
For diagnosis in live animals, detection of antibodies in serum or milk has been shown to be the best option both at the herd
and the individual level. These techniques are excellent tools to examine N. caninum-associated abortion problems and to adopt
some basic herd-control measures. Concerning foetal diagnosis, detection of compatible lesions by histological examination
and parasites by PCR in brain (as well as heart and liver) are the best choices. Diagnostic criteria to distinguish foetal infection
and Neospora-associated abortion are based not only on the demonstration of the parasite in the foetus but also on the extent
and severity of the lesions in the foetus, foetal age and the assessment of neosporosis at the herd level. In the near future, new
tools to diagnose infection should help to detect animals with parasite reactivation by testing the immune response to stage-specific
antigens and lead to the development of molecular typing methods to characterise different parasite isolates. Finally, uniform
diagnostic procedures need to be established between laboratories and countries in order to standardise result interpretation.
The role of National or Regional Reference Laboratories is essential in countries or regions where control programmes
for the disease are being developed.
KEY WORDS: Neosporosis, cattle, diagnosis
Page compiled by M. Bultowicz. Last modification: April 10, 2006