Abstract

Neospora caninum is a well known protozoan parasite of domestic and wild animals. Neospora hughesi is a closely related protozoan with an unknown life cycle, host range, and infection prevalence. Many serologic surveys of N. caninum have been performed without consideration of potential cross-reactions with N. hughesi, which could confound results. The aim of this study was to investigate whether postexposure sera from animals experimentally infected with N. caninum exhibit significant reactivity differences when tested using N. caninum and N. hughesi Immunofluorescent Antibody Tests (IFAT). Pre- and postinfection serum samples from 10 dogs, 20 calves, and 17 cows were tested by dual IFATs. All pre-exposure samples for N. caninum tested seronegative for both organisms. All postexposure samples that were seropositive for N. caninum were also positive for N. hughesi, although N. hughesi antibody titers were usually 1 dilution lower (P < 0.02). Serologic surveys for N. caninum may be confounded by cross-reacting titers with N. hughesi, but true positive N. caninum antibody titers are greater than, or equal to, cross-reacting N. hughesi antibody titers.

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