Occurrence of Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in dogs from rural properties surrounding a biological reserve, Espirito Santo, Brasil

Abstract The aim of this study was to determine the presence of antibodies to Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii in serum samples of 187 dogs from 30 rural properties surrounding Córrego do Veado Biological Reserve, Espírito Santo State, Brazil. The Reserve is one of the last lowland Atlantic Forest remnants of the region, surrounded by agriculture farms and cattle pastures. The presence of IgG antibodies was determined by the Indirect Fluorescent Antibody Test for T. gondii (cut-off 1:16) and N. caninum (cut-off 1:50). Positive samples were diluted 2-fold until the last positive dilution. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 77 (47.05%) dogs and antibodies to N. caninum in 22 dogs (11.76%) and one only dog was positive for both infections. No association between T. gondii and N. caninum infection and sex was observed (p>0.05). Control measures to prevent those infections in dogs that living surrounding the reserve and that had contact with wild animals are important to avoid the introduction of N. caninum in wild animals. This was the first study of frequency of occurrence of T. gondii and N. caninum in dogs from Espírito Santo, Brazil.