Detection of anti-Neospora caninum antibodies in slaughtered sheep
Palavras-chave:neosporosis, small ruminant, Brazil.
ResumoNeospora caninum is a protozoan that causes reproductive disorders in herbivores. Domestic and wild dogs have been considered its definitive hosts, and when these animals are affected, they may suffer from a neuromuscular disease. Recently, this infection has also gained significance in small ruminants. Although neosporosis is already a proven cause of mortality in lambs and congenital infection can occur, this parasite has only recently been considered a cause of abortion in these animals. The aim of this study was to detect anti-N. caninum antibodies in slaughtered sheep. Serum samples (n = 100) collected in a slaughterhouse located in the municipality of Palmeira dos Índios (09°24’26” S and 36°37’39” W), state of Alagoas, northeastern Brazil, were used in this study. Anti-N. caninum antibodies were detected by means of the Immunofluorescence Antibody Test (IFAT). The cut-off point was set at 50 and samples were titrated up to 800. Anti-N. caninum antibodies were detected in 13% (13/100) of the tested samples, 7.69% of which came from male sheep (1/13) and 92.31% (12/13) from females. Titers ranged from 50 to 800, with the majority of animals (46.15%; 6/13) presenting the maximum one (i.e., 800). Data herein reported demonstrated the circulation of N. caninum parasites among sheep in the study area. These findings are pivotal to improve the knowledge about the dynamics of this pathogen in an ovine population. Therefore, it is crucial to adopt sanitary measures to prevent infection by this parasite and thus reduce its economic impact on ovine production.
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