Serologic evidence of Neospora infection in dairy cattle in Chile
- Neospora caninum is a recently recognised parasite that produces infection in dogs and herbivorous. In cows, the disease does not produce clinical signs of illness, instead it produces losses. Chile has a large dairy industry and pregnancy losses in that system seem to be economically important. However a large number of abortions remain with unknown aetiology and abortion due to protozoa has not been investigated. We report here, for the first time, that aborted cows belonging to three different farms in the IX Region, Chile had antibodies to N. Caninumis given here. The episode of abortion was 'sporadic' and occurred in adult cows. The sera were diluted in 1:200 and processed with the Neospora IFA test. Whole tachyzoite surface fluorescent was considered positive. Aantibodies were found in 10 of 21 adult cows, none of 2 heifers and 1 of 6 calves in farm A. In farm B, they were found in 7 of 24 adult cows and in 2 of 2 adult cows of farm C. All the aborted cows (2 on farm A; 3 aborted and 1 mummified on farm B; and 2 on farm C) were positive to the test. Taking into consideration the IFA test results and the negativity of serology to other common infections which cause bovine abortion, the hypothesis that these cows aborted due to Neospora infection is supported. How the disease has spread world wide is unknown, but most probably, international animal trade has contributed to help spread the disease. Before any recommendation can be made more extensive studies should be done in order to establish the prevalence and the economic impact of the disease. At the moment evidence that Neospora infection is already present in this country is presented. Therefore it should be included as a differential diagnosis of bovine abortion.