The parasite, Neospora caninum is an important cause of abortion in cattle. It is transmitted vertically or horizontally and
infection may result in abortion or the birth of a live, healthy but infected calf at full-term. Only a proportion of infected
cattle abort and the pathogenesis of abortion is not understood. Groups of cattle were infected with 107N. caninum
tachyzoites intravenously at different times relative to gestation. Intravenous inoculation was chosen to reproduce the
putative haematogenous spread of N. caninum following either recrudescence of endogenous infection or de novo infection.
In all cattle, infection was accompanied by high γ-interferon and lymphoproliferative responses, and a biased IgG2
response indicating that N. caninum infection is accompanied by a profound Th1 helper T cell-like response. Infection
at 10 weeks gestation resulted in foetopathy and resorption of foetal tissues 3 weeks after infection in 5 out of 6 cows.
Infection at 30 weeks gestation resulted in the birth of asymptomatic, congenitally-infected calves at full term in all 6 cows,
whereas the 6 cows infected before artificial insemination gave birth to live, uninfected calves. These results suggest that
the reason some cows abort is related to the time during gestation when they become infected or an existing infection