PCR Detection of Neospora Caninum in Water Buffalo Foetal Tissues

Acta Parasitol. 2014 Mar;59(1):1-4. doi: 10.2478/s11686-014-0201-y. Epub 2014 Feb 26.


The seroprevalence of Neospora caninum was surveyed by an ELISA kit on two water buffalo herds of Southern Italy. Seropositive samples were detected in 47% and 59% of individuals, respectively, thus indicating high level of exposure to the parasite even if the possibility of vertical transmission cannot be excluded. Tissue samples collected from three aborted fetuses from the same herds were investigated for N. caninum presence by PCR assays targeting the 18S and the Nc5 DNA sequences, respectively. Both methods have shown the presence of N. caninum DNA in heart and brain. Sequencing of the Nc5 genomic DNA confirmed the presence of N. caninum in the samples; phylogenetic analysis of the obtained sequences showed high homology among the Neospora recovered from different samples. The present study suggests an important role of N. caninum as a possible abortive agent for water buffaloes.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Veterinary / epidemiology
  • Abortion, Veterinary / parasitology*
  • Animals
  • Buffaloes*
  • Coccidiosis / epidemiology
  • Coccidiosis / parasitology
  • Coccidiosis / veterinary*
  • Female
  • Fetus / parasitology*
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Neospora / genetics
  • Neospora / isolation & purification*
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / veterinary*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence