[Search for Neospora caninum DNA in bull semen using PCR]

Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd. 2006 Sep;148(9):483-9. doi: 10.1024/0036-7281.148.9.483.
[Article in German]


Neospora caninum represents one of the most frequent abortifaciant organisms worldwide. The parasite is diaplacentally transmitted from the pregnant cow to the fetus, where it normally leads to the delivery of a healthy, however persistently infected calf. Abortion thus is a relative rare event. The transmission of bovine neosporosis occurs in more than 90% of the cases vertically due to the endogenous reactivation of a persistently infected mother. Exogenous infections are therefore responsible for less than 10% of the cases. The question arises about which infection sources may be relevant in this context. In Switzerland, the role of dogs as definitive hosts has been shown to be of low significance in that respect. Recently, discussion focused on the potential of infectious bull semen following natural or artificial insemination. Thus, a few years ago a report documented the detectability of N. caninum-DNA in the semen of naturally infected bulls by nested-PCR. As a consequence, we decided to gain own experience by investigating 5 separate semen specimens per animal, originating from 20 N. caninum-seropositive bulls used for artificial insemination in Switzerland. All probes turned out to be negative by nested PCR. Based upon our laboratory experiences, the potential bull semen-associated Neospora-problem seems not to affect the Swiss bull population, thus there is no evidence to include further respective means of control.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Veterinary / parasitology
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases / prevention & control
  • Cattle Diseases / transmission
  • Coccidiosis / prevention & control
  • Coccidiosis / transmission
  • Coccidiosis / veterinary
  • DNA, Protozoan / analysis*
  • Female
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / prevention & control
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / veterinary
  • Male
  • Neospora / genetics
  • Neospora / isolation & purification*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / veterinary*
  • Pregnancy
  • Semen / parasitology*


  • DNA, Protozoan