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Influence of the gestational stage on the clinical course, lesional development and parasite distribution in experimental ovine neosporosis

AuthorsArranz-Solís, D.; Benavides, Julio ; Regidor-Cerrillo, Javier; Fuertes, M. ; Ferre, Ignacio; Ferreras, Mª del Carmen ; Collantes Fernández, E.; Hemphill, A.; Pérez Pérez, Valentín ; Ortega Mora, Luis M.
Issue Date3-Mar-2015
PublisherBioMed Central
CitationVeterinary Research 46(1): 19 (2015)
AbstractNeospora caninum is considered one of the main causes of abortion in cattle, yet recent studies have also emphasised its relevance as an abortifacient in small ruminants. In order to gain deeper insight into the pathogenesis of ovine neosporosis, pregnant ewes were intravenously inoculated with 106 tachyzoites of the Nc-Spain7 isolate at days 40, 90 or 120 of gestation. Infection during the first term resulted in the death of all foetuses between days 19 and 21 post-infection, showing mainly necrotic lesions in foetal liver and the highest parasite DNA detection and burden in both placenta and foetal viscera. After infection at day 90, foetal death was also detected in all ewes, although later (34–48 days post-infection). In this group, lesions were mainly inflammatory. Foetal livers showed the lowest frequency of lesions, as well as the lowest parasite detection and burden. All ewes infected at day 120 delivered viable lambs, although 3 out of 9 showed weakness and recumbency. Neospora DNA was detected in all lambs but one, and parasite burden was similar to that observed in day 90 group. Lesions in this group showed more conspicuous infiltration of inflammatory cells and higher frequency in foetal brain and muscle when compared to both previous groups. These results highlight the crucial role that the stage of gestation plays on the course of ovine neosporosis, similar to that reported in bovine neosporosis, and open the doors to consider sheep as a valid model for exogenous transplacental transmission for ruminant neosporosis.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13567-014-0139-y
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