Incidence of Neospora caninum and other intestinal protozoan parasites in populations of Swiss dogs

Sager, H; Moret, C Steiner; Müller, N; Staubli, D; Esposito, M; Schares, G; Hässig, M; Stärk, K; Gottstein, B (2006). Incidence of Neospora caninum and other intestinal protozoan parasites in populations of Swiss dogs. Veterinary parasitology, 139(1-3), pp. 84-92. Amsterdam: Elsevier 10.1016/j.vetpar.2006.02.021

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The protozoan parasite Neospora caninum is one of the most important abortifacient organisms in cattle worldwide. The dog is known to act as definitive host although its potential role as infection source for bovines still remains unelucidated. The aim of the present study was to compile initial epidemiological data on the prevalence and incidence of N. caninum in Swiss dogs acting as definitive hosts. Thus, 249 Swiss dogs were investigated coproscopically in monthly intervals over a period of 1 year. A total of 3289 fecal samples was tested by the flotation technique. Among these, 202 were shown to contain Sarcocystis sp. (6.1%), 149 Cystoisospora sp. (=Isospora sp.; 4.5%) and 25 Hammondia/Neospora-like oocysts (HNlO) (0.7%). All but one sample containing HNlO were from different dogs; one dog shed HNlO at two subsequent time points. Calculation of the yearly incidence for HNlO resulted in the surprisingly high value of 9.2%. Farm dogs exhibited a higher incidence for HNlO than urban family dogs. Thirteen out of the 25 HNlO-samples showed sporulation after 5 days incubation at room temperature. HNlO were further differentiated by species-specific PCR. However, all HNlO-samples were negative for N. caninum, Hammondia heydorni and Toxoplasma gondii. One reason may be the low oocyst density found in most fecal samples, which did not permit us to carry out PCR under optimal conditions. Three out of the 25 HNlO-cases contained enough oocysts to allow further enrichment and purification by the flotation technique. Subsequently, twenty to fifty sporulated HNlO-oocysts were orally administered to Meriones unguiculatus. All gerbils were seronegative for N. caninum at 5 weeks p.i. A N. caninum-seroprevalence of 7.8% was determined by ELISA upon 1132 serum samples collected from dogs randomly selected by veterinarians among their clinical patients.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Parasitology

UniBE Contributor:

Sager, Heinz, Steiner-Moret, Christine, Müller, Norbert, Staubli, Daniela, Esposito, Marco, Gottstein, Bruno


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture








Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:45

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:14

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URI: (FactScience: 882)

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