Abstract

Sarcocystis neurona is best known as the causative agent of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis of horses in the Americas. Domestic cats (Felis domesticus) were the first animals described as an intermediate host for S. neurona. However, S. neurona-associated encephalitis has also been reported in naturally infected cats in the United States. Thus, cats can be implicated in the life cycle of S. neurona as natural intermediate hosts. The present study examined the seroprevalence of IgG antibodies to merozoites of S. neurona in populations of domestic cats from Virginia and Pennsylvania. Overall, sera or plasma from 441 cats (Virginia  =  232, Pennsylvania  =  209) were tested by an indirect immunofluorescent assay at a 1∶50 dilution. Antibodies to S. neurona were found in 32 (7%) of 441 cats. Of these, 22 (9%) of the 232 cats from Virginia and 10 (5%) of the 209 cats from Pennsylvania were seropositive for S. neurona.

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