Assessment of transplacental transmission of Neospora caninum in dairy cattle in the Agreste region of Pernambuco

<div><p>Abstract The transplacental transmission is the primary route of Neospora caninum infection in bovine herds around the world. This study aimed to determine the frequency of transplacental transmission of the parasite in dairy cattle of Agreste region of Pernambuco through serological tests (IFAT and ELISA). Three hundred sixteen serum samples from cows and heifers and their offspring were analyzed. The transplacental transmission rate was 72.22% (13/18) for cows and 69.23% (9/13) for heifers by IFAT. ELISA test showed transplacental transmission rate of 43.58% (17/39) for cows and 50% (9/18) for heifers. The transplacental transmission rates were similar, in both groups in test, but a higher seropositivity was found in cows by IFAT. Data were statistically analyzed using the chi-square and Fisher’s exact test. A significant relationship of dependence between seropositivity of mothers and their offspring was found. The more frequent IFAT antibody titers and ELISA levels for N. caninum were, respectively, 200 and between four (cows) and five (heifers and offspring). In the Spearman correlation, no association was found between the magnitude of antibody titers for N. caninum between mothers and their offspring. The kappa test showed an index of 0.35, indicating a mild correlation between the serological tests used. The study suggests that cows and heifers are the main transmitters of N. caninum in the studied region and that vertical transmission is the major form of transmission in dairy herds of the Agreste region of Pernambuco.</p></div>