Authors:Jesús Manuel Romo-Gallegos, Carlos Cruz-Vázquez, Leticia Medina-Esparza, Miguel Ramos-Parra, and Dora Romero-Salas
This study, carried out in 13 sheep flocks of central-western Mexico, aimed to identify the prevalence of anti-N. caninum antibodies, to develop a risk analysis of the infection and to estimate the prevalence of parasite DNA in blood. A total of 368 serum and blood samples were subjected to ELISA and PCR tests, respectively, and the association between the prevalence of antibodies and some management factors was estimated. The overall prevalence of anti-N. caninum antibodies was 13.5% [50/368; 95% confidence interval (CI) 10–17], ranging from 2.7 to 90% per flock, and 92% of the farms had seropositive animals. In ewes the prevalence was 14% (48/348, 95% CI 10–17) and in rams 10% (2/20; 95% CI 1– 33). The mean prevalence of Neospora DNA in blood was 27% (99/368, 95% CI 22–31), implying a range between 16 and 82%. In rams, the prevalence was 5% (1/20 95% CI 2–26), while in ewes it was 28% (98/348, 95% CI 23–33). The agreement between the tests was k = 0.19. The presence of other domestic animal species in the farms [odds ratio (OR) 4.4] and the consumption of placental debris, fetuses and stillborn lambs by dogs living in the farms (OR 5.8) were demonstrated to be risk factors.