On the efficacy and safety of vaccination in cattle with live tachyzoites of Neospora caninum for the prevention of Neospora-associated fetal loss in cattle

American Society for Microbiology
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology, 2013, 20 (1), pp. 99 - 105
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Infection of cattle with Neospora caninum may result in abortion or the birth of a congenitally infected calf. Vaccination with live N. caninum protects against experimental infection of cattle and mice, and the naturally attenuated Nc-Nowra strain of N. caninum is of particular interest as a potential vaccine candidate. Vaccination of heifers prior to breeding with live Nc-Nowra tachyzoites by either the subcutaneous or the intravenous route reduced the rate of abortion and the presence of the parasite in calves as determined by PCR and serology after infection of cows with a virulent isolate. Protected fractions were 55.6% to 85.2% depending on the route of vaccination and growth conditions of the vaccine strain, with cryopreserved Nc-Nowra tachyzoites being less effective, with a 25.9% protected fraction. Vaccination appeared to reduce the rate of pregnancy after artificial insemination in some groups compared to nonvaccinated, nonchallenged controls. One animal that was vaccinated but not challenged experienced an abortion, but Nc-Nowra could not be detected in any of the cows in this group or their progeny. This study confirms that live vaccination can be an effective method of preventing neosporosis in cattle and yet highlights the technical hurdle of preservation of live parasites that must be overcome for a vaccine to be commercially successful.
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