Indexed on: 07 Oct '05Published on: 07 Oct '05Published in: Veterinary Parasitology
Serum samples from 2420 clinically healthy dairy cattle, randomly selected from stored sera in 18 districts of Japan, were tested for the presence of Neospora caninum antibodies using an indirect fluorescent antibody test (titer > or =1:200). Nationwide seroprevalence is estimated at 5.7% (139/2420). Seropositive cattle were detected in all surveyed districts despite the evidence of confirmed case reports of bovine neosporosis, showing that N. caninum is widely distributed throughout Japan. Age-specific seroprevalence did not increase with cattle age, suggesting that Neospora infection is likely to be transmitted vertically rather than horizontally in Japan. Considering that N. caninum seropositive cows are thought to be more likely to abort, substantial fetal losses may be induced by N. caninum infection in Japan. Devising strategies are needed to reduce the economic impact on the Japanese dairy industry. This is the first study to investigate the nationwide seroprevalence of N. caninum in cattle in Asia.