Neospora caninum and Bovine Neosporosis: Current Vaccine Research

Marugan-Hernandez, V (2017) Neospora caninum and Bovine Neosporosis: Current Vaccine Research. Journal of Comparative Pathology, 157 (2-3). pp. 193-200. ISSN 00219975

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Neospora caninum, a tissue cyst-forming parasite, is the causative agent of bovine neosporosis. It is considered to be one of the most important transmissible causes of reproductive failure in cattle; abortion and neonatal mortality result in significant economic losses within the cattle industry worldwide. The balance between acute (mediated by the tachyzoite stage) and persistent (mediated by the bradyzoite stage) phases of the infection is influenced by the immune status of the animal, and for pregnant cows (the intermediate host) immune status is critical for transplacental (i.e. vertical) transmission of the parasite and associated disease outcomes. The horizontal route of transmission from the definitive host, the dog, occurs via ingestion of oocysts containing sporozoites, and plays a minor but important role in transmission of the infection to cattle. Despite the importance of this disease, there is no vaccine or treatment available currently, and at the present the only control measure to reduce the impact of disease is informed management on the farm. The development of vaccines, targeting key biological processes such as invasion and persistent infection, is needed urgently for the control of this widespread parasite.

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