Parasitology



The prevalence of Neospora caninum and co-infection with Toxoplasma gondii by PCR analysis in naturally occurring mammal populations


J. M. HUGHES a1, R. H. WILLIAMS a1, E. K. MORLEY a1, D. A. N. COOK a1, R. S. TERRY a2, R. G. MURPHY a3, J. E. SMITH a2 and G. HIDE a1c1
a1 Centre for Parasitology, Molecular Epidemiology and Ecology, Biosciences Research Institute, School of Environment and Life Sciences, University of Salford, Salford M5 4WT
a2 School of Biology, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT
a3 Research Institute for the Built and Human Environment, University of Salford, Salford M5 4WT

Article author query
hughes jm   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
williams rh   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
morley ek   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
cook da   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
terry rs   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
murphy rg   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
smith je   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
hide g   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Abstract

Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii are closely related intracellular protozoan parasites associated with bovine and ovine abortion respectively. Little is known about the extent of Neospora/Toxoplasma co-infection in naturally infected populations of animals. Using nested PCR techniques, based on primers from the Nc5 region of N. caninum and SAG1 for T. gondii, the prevalence of N. caninum and its co-infection with T. gondii were investigated in populations of Mus domesticus, Rattus norvegicus and aborted lambs (Ovis aries). A low frequency of infection with N. caninum was detected in the Mus domesticus (3%) and Rattus norvegicus (4·4%) populations. A relatively high frequency of infection with N. caninum was detected in the brains of aborted lambs (18·9%). There was no significant relationship between N. caninum and T. gondii co-infection. Investigation of the tissue distribution of Neospora, in aborted lambs, showed that Neospora could not be detected in tissues other than brain and this was in contrast to Toxoplasma where the parasite could be frequently detected in a range of tissues.

(Received June 1 2005)
(Revised July 26 2005)
(Accepted July 27 2005)
(September 15 2005)


Key Words: Neospora caninum; Toxoplasma gondii; PCR; co-infection; naturally acquired infection; mouse; rat; sheep.

Correspondence:
c1 Centre for Parasitology, Molecular Epidemiology and Ecology, Biosciences Research Institute, School of Environment and Life Sciences, University of Salford, Salford M5 4WT. Tel: +161 295 3371. Fax: +161 295 5015. E-mail: g.hide@salford.ac.uk


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