Sera from 186 sheep, 83 cattle, and 103 water buffaloes from Punjab, India, were evaluated for antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii using a commercial ELISA kit. This study was planned using a 2-stage random sampling procedure and sampling software ‘survey toolbox.’ In the first step, villages were selected randomly from a sampling frame of all the villages of Punjab, followed by selection of owners and animals in the second step. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 7 of 186 sheep, 2 of 83 cattle, and 3 of 103 buffaloes. Results indicate a low prevalence of T. gondii in ruminants tested.
Neospora caninum is one of most important causes of abortion in cattle worldwide, and dogs are an important risk factor for N. caninum infection in cattle. Antibodies to N. caninum were determined in 184 (126 rural, 58 urban) dogs from the Punjab State, India, using commercial monoclonal antibody-based competitive ELISA and found in 16.8% of the animals. The prevalence of N. caninum antibodies was significantly higher in rural dogs (21.4%, 27 of 126) than city dogs (6.9%, 4 of 58). To our knowledge this is the first report of N. caninum infection in canines from India.
Neospora caninum is now recognized as a major cause of abortion in cattle worldwide, but there is no report of N. caninum infection in cattle in India. Serum samples from 427 dairy cattle and 32 dairy water buffaloes from 7 organized dairy farms located in Punjab, India, were tested for N. caninum antibodies using a commercial monoclonal antibody-based competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Antibodies to N. caninum were found in 35 of 427 cattle from 6 of the 7 farms; 9.6% of cows, 5.1% of heifers, and 5.0% of calves were seropositive, suggesting postnatal transmission of N. caninum on the farm. Antibodies to N. caninum were found in 16 of 32 buffaloes tested from 2 dairy farms. In total, 64 cattle and 16 buffalo sera already tested by ELISA were also evaluated by an indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) to verify ELISA results. Of the 64 cattle samples, 29 sera were negative by both tests and of the 35 ELISA-positive sera, 12 had IFAT titers of 1:100 or higher (1 had IFAT titer of 100, 2 had IFAT titer of 200, and 9 had IFAT titers of 400 or higher). Of the 16 buffalo sera positive by ELISA, 1 had an IFAT titer of 1:400. Thus, antibodies to N. caninum were demonstrated in cattle sera by 2 serologic methods. To our knowledge this is the first report of N. caninum infection in cattle and buffaloes in India.