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Control options for Neospora caninum – is there anything new or are we going backwards?

  • MICHAEL P. REICHEL (a1) (a2), MILTON M. McALLISTER (a1), WILLIAM E. POMROY (a3), CARLOS CAMPERO (a4), LUIS M. ORTEGA-MORA (a5) and JOHN T. ELLIS (a2)...

Summary

Recent work has highlighted and enumerated the economic annual losses due to Neospora caninum abortions worldwide, which should provide strong motivation for the control of bovine neosporosis. However, with the recent withdrawal from sale of the only commercially available vaccine, control options for N. caninum have become more restricted. While researchers continue to work on developing alternative efficacious vaccines, what are the control options presently available for the cattle industries? At the practical level, recommendations for ‘Test-and-cull’, or ‘not breeding from seropositive dams’ stand diametrically opposed to alternative options put forward that suggest a primary producer is better advised to keep those cows in the herd that are already seropositive, i.e. assumed to be chronically infected, and indeed those that have already aborted once. Treatment with a coccidiostat has been recommended as the only economically viable option, yet no such treatment has gained official, regulatory approval. Dogs are central to the life cycle of N. caninum and have repeatedly been associated with infection and abortions in cattle by epidemiological studies. Knowledge and understanding of that pivotal role should be able to be put to use in control programmes. The present review canvasses the relevant literature for evidence for control options for N. caninum (some of them proven, many not) and assesses them in the light of the authors’ knowledge and experience with control of N. caninum.

Copyright

Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, University of Adelaide, Roseworthy Campus, Roseworthy SA 5371, Australia. E-mail: michael.reichel@adelaide.edu.au.

References

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