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Frequency of antibodies against Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora caninum in domestic cats in the state of Bahia, Brazil

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Title
Frequency of antibodies against Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora caninum in domestic cats in the state of Bahia, Brazil
Published in
Revista Brasileira de Parasitologia Veterinária, December 2014
DOI 10.1590/s1984-29612014080
Pubmed ID
Authors

Iris Daniela Santos de Meneses, Müller Ribeiro Andrade, Rosângela Soares Uzêda, Marta Vasconcelos Bittencourt, David Scott Lindsay, Luís Fernando Pita Gondim

Abstract

Sarcocystis neurona is the major agent of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis. It infects several mammalian species in the Americas, where the definitive hosts, marsupials of the genus Didelphis (D. virginiana and D. albiventris) are found. Domestic cats are one of the confirmed intermediate hosts of the parasite; however, antibodies against S. neurona had never before been demonstrated in Brazilian cats. The aim of this study was to determine whether cats in Bahia, Brazil, are exposed to the parasite. A total of 272 feline serum samples (134 from feral and 138 from house cats) were subjected to an indirect fluorescent antibody test using cultured merozoites of S. neurona as antigen. Positivity was detected in 4.0% (11/272) of the tested samples, with titers ranging from 25 to 800. The feline sera were also tested for antibodies against the protozoan Neospora caninum, with an observed antibody frequency of 2.9%. To the author's knowledge, this is the first study to report antibodies against S. neurona in Brazilian cats. We conclude that cats are exposed to the parasite in the region of this study. Further investigations are needed to confirm the role of cats in the transmission cycle of S. neurona in Brazil.

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