Natural transmission routes of Neospora caninum ...

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Title Natural transmission routes of Neospora caninum between farm dogs and cattle
Author(s) T. Dijkstra, H. W. Barkema, M. Eysker, J. W. Hesselink, W. Wouda
Journal Veterinary Parasitology
Date 2002
Volume 105
Issue 2
Start page 99
End page 104
Abstract Twelve dairy herds with evidence of post-natal infection with Neospora caninum were compared with 21 control herds with no evidence of post-natal infection. On the former farms, dogs consumed placenta or licked uterine discharge in 75 and 67% of the farms, respectively, while on control farms these activities occurred in 38 and 24% of the farms, respectively. On all control farms and all but three post-natally infected farms the dogs were fed colostrum or milk. Defecation of dogs on the feeding alley was observed in 92% of the post-natally infected farms and in 24% of the control farms. The same trend was observed for defecation of dogs in grass silage, in 75% of the post-natally infected farms and in 19% of the control farms; and in corn silage, in 50% of the post-natally infected farms and in 10% of the control farms. Consumption of placenta, material of aborted foetuses or uterine discharge in combination with defecation on the feeding alley, storage of grass or corn silage was observed in 19% of the control farms and in 75% of the post-natally infected farms. This study supports the hypothesis that farm dogs may become infected by foetal fluids or placental material of infected cattle, and may subsequently cause a post-natal infection of cattle in the herd by shedding oocysts.

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