Research into Neospora caninum-What Have We Learnt in the Last Thirty Years?

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 2020, 9, (6)
Issue Date:
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BACKGROUND:Neospora caninum has been recognised world-wide, first as a disease of dogs, then as an important cause of abortions in cattle for the past thirty years. Over that time period, there have been improvements in the diagnosis of infection and abortion, new tests have been developed and validated, and it is timely to review progress to date. METHODS:Bibliometric methods were used to identify major trends and research topics present in the published literature on N. caninum. The tools used were SWIFT-Review, VOSviewer and SciMAT, along with the published papers found in the MEDLINE, Dimensions and Web of Science databases. A systematic review of the published Neospora literature (n = 2933) was also carried out via MEDLINE and systematically appraised for publications relevant to the pathogenesis, pathology and diagnosis of Neospora abortions. RESULTS:A total of 92 publications were included in the final analysis and grouped into four main time periods. In these four different time periods, the main research themes were "dogs", "abortion", "seroprevalence" and "infection". Diagnostics, including PCR, dominated the first two time periods, with an increased focus on transmission and abortions, and its risk factors in cattle. CONCLUSIONS:Longitudinal analyses indicated that the main themes were consistently investigated over the last 30 years through a wide range of studies, with evolving emphasis initially on dogs and diagnostic test development, followed by application to cattle, the identification of the risk factors leading to abortion, and in the latter time periods, an understanding of the immunity and a search for vaccines.
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