Influence of Neospora caninum intra-specific variability in the outcome of infection in a pregnant BALB/c mouse model
SALUVET, Animal Health Department, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Complutense University of Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain
2 NEIKER, Instituto Vasco de Investigación y Desarrollo Agrario, Derio, 48160, Vizcaya, Spain
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 23 April 2010
Previous assays in pregnant animals have demonstrated the effect of different host factors and timing of infection on the outcome of neosporosis during pregnancy. However, the influence of Neospora caninum isolate itself has been poorly investigated. Here, we compared the effects on clinical outcome and vertical transmission observed in a pregnant mouse model following infection with 10 different N. caninum isolates. The isolates in our study included the Nc-Liv isolate and nine N. caninum isolates obtained from calves. Female BALB/c mice were inoculated with 2 × 106 tachyzoites at day 7 of pregnancy. Morbidity and mortality, in both dams and offspring during the course of infection, and transmission to progeny at day 30 postpartum were evaluated. The serum IgG1 and IgG2a production in dams were also examined. All dams showed elevated IgG1 and IgG2a responses, confirming N. caninum infection, although signs of disease were only exhibited in dams infected with 4 of the 10 isolates (Nc-Spain 4H, Nc-Spain 5H, Nc-Spain 7 and Nc-Liv). In neonates, clinical signs were observed in all N. caninum-infected groups, and neonatal mortality rates varied from greater than 95% with the isolates mentioned above to less than 32.5% with the other isolates. Vertical transmission rates, as assessed by parasite PCR-detection in neonate brains, also varied from 50% to 100% according to the isolate implicated. These results confirm the wide pathogenic and transmission variability of N. caninum. The intra-specific variability observed herein could help us explain the differences in the outcome of the infection in the natural host.
Key words: Neospora caninum / bovine isolate / pathogenic characterisation / vertical transmission / pregnant mouse model
© INRA, EDP Sciences, 2010