Foetal death in naive heifers inoculated with Neospora caninum isolate Nc-Spain7 at 110 days of pregnancy

Sonia Almería, Beatriz Serrano-Perez, Laila Darwich, Mariano Domingo, Ramon Mur-Novales, Javier Regidor-Cerrillo, Oscar Cabezón, Mónica Pérez-Maillo, Irene Lopez-Helguera, Xavier Fernández-Aguilar, Maria Puig-Ribas, Luis Miguel Ortega-Mora, Irina García-Ispierto, Jitender P. Dubey, Fernando López-Gatius

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15 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016 Elsevier Inc. Neospora caninum infection is a leading cause of abortion in cattle worldwide. The pathogenesis of bovine neosporosis, particularly during the second term of gestation when most abortions occur in naturally infected dams, is poorly understood. In the present study foetal death was observed in 3 of 6 experimentally infected dams at 110 days of gestation after 6 weeks of experimental period. All experimental heifers were febrile between 3 and 5 days post infection (dpi). Inoculated dams seroconverted by 3–4 weeks post-infection with higher mean antibody titres in aborting dams compared to non-aborting heifers, although not significantly (p > 0.05). Neospora caninum DNA was detected in all infected foetuses and placentas, and three infected foetuses also had N. caninum antibodies. The parasite burden was higher in the brain of dead/aborted foetuses than in live foetuses. Interestingly, high IFN-γ production was detected in foetal fluids of a dead foetus found upon euthanasia of its dam, while no IFN-γ was observed in amniotic, allantoic and/or foetal fluids in the three infected foetuses that were alive upon maternal euthanasia. The present study confirms that the infection of dams on gestation day 110 with 107 tachyzoites of the Nc-Spain7 isolate causes abortion. The fact that some infected dams aborted and some did not is relevant to the understanding of N. caninum pathogenesis of abortion in naturally infected cows.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-69
JournalExperimental Parasitology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016


  • Antibodies
  • Foetal IFN-γ
  • Neospora caninum
  • Pathogenesis of abortion
  • Second term of gestation


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