Neospora caninum

Neospora caninum
Neospora caninum
Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Chromalveolata
Superphylum: Alveolata
Phylum: Apicomplexa
Class: Conoidasida
Subclass: Coccidiasina
Order: Eucoccidiorida
Family: Sarcocystidae
Genus: Neospora
Species: N. caninum
Binomial name
Neospora caninum

Neospora caninum is a coccidian parasite that was identified as a species in 1988. Prior to this, it was misclassified as Toxoplasma gondii due to structural similarities[1]. The genome sequence of Neospora caninum is determined by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. Neospora caninum is an important cause of spontaneous abortion in infected livestock.

Neospora caninum has a heteroxenous life cycle, with the reproductive stage occurring in the intestine of the definitive host, which is the dog[2]. Other carnivores, for example, the fox[3], may also be definitive hosts. Oocysts passed in the feces of the definitive host are ingested by an intermediate host, for example, cattle, and form tissue cysts. Transplacental transmission, that is passage from mother to offspring during pregnancy, has been shown to occur in dogs, cats, sheep and cattle. Neospora caninum does not appear to be infectious to humans. In dogs, Neospora caninum can cause neurological signs, especially in congenitally infected puppies, where it can form cysts in the central nervous system.[4]


  1. ^ Dubey JP (Oct 1999). "Neosporosis—the first decade of research". Int J Parasitol. 29 (10): 1485–8. doi:10.1016/S0020-7519(99)00134-4. PMID 10608433. 
  2. ^ McAllister MM, Dubey JP, Lindsay DS, Jolley WR, Wills RA, McGuire AM (Sep 1998). "Dogs are definitive hosts of Neospora caninum". Int J Parasitol. 28 (9): 1473–8. doi:10.1016/S0020-7519(98)00138-6. PMID 9770635. 
  3. ^ Almería S, Ferrer D, Pabón M, Castellà J, Mañas S (Aug 2002). "Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are a natural intermediate host of Neospora caninum". Vet Parasitol. 107 (4): 287–94. doi:10.1016/S0304-4017(02)00162-0. PMID 12163240. 
  4. ^ Barber JS, Payne-Johnson CE, Trees AJ (Dec 1996). "Distribution of Neospora caninum within the central nervous system and other tissues of six dogs with clinical neosporosis". J Small Anim Pract 37 (12): 568–74. doi:10.1111/j.1748-5827.1996.tb02332.x. PMID 8981277. 

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