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ISRN Parasitology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 947347, 23 pages
Review Article

Neospora caninum and Wildlife

Departament de Sanitat i Anatomia Animals and Centre de Recerca en Sanitat Animal (CreSA), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Bellaterra, 08193 Barcelona, Spain

Received 25 March 2013; Accepted 20 April 2013

Academic Editors: M. De La Garza, M. Mahieu, G. Mkoji, K. R. Trenholme, and R. Zufferey

Copyright © 2013 Sonia Almería. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Bovine neosporosis caused by Neospora caninum is among the main causes of abortion in cattle nowadays. At present there is no effective treatment or vaccine. Serological evidence in domestic, wild, and zoo animals indicates that many species have been exposed to this parasite. However, many aspects of the life cycle of N. caninum are unknown and the role of wildlife in the life cycle of N. caninum is still not completely elucidated. In North America, there are data consistent with a sylvatic cycle involving white tailed-deer and canids and in Australia a plausible sylvatic cycle could be occurring between wild dogs and their macropod preys. In Europe, a similar sylvatic cycle has not been established but is very likely. The present review is a comprehensive and up to date summary of the current knowledge on the sylvatic cycle of N. caninum, species affected and their geographical distribution. These findings could have important implications in both sylvatic and domestic cycles since infected wildlife may influence the prevalence of infection in cattle farms in the same areas. Wildlife will need to be taken into account in the control measures to reduce the economical losses associated with this important disease in cattle farms.