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Int J Parasitol. 2013 Feb;43(2):133-42. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2012.10.022. Epub 2012 Dec 12.

What is the global economic impact of Neospora caninum in cattle - the billion dollar question.

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School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, University of Adelaide, Roseworthy Campus, Roseworthy, SA 5371, Australia.


Neospora caninum is regarded as one of the most important infectious causes of abortions in cattle worldwide, yet the global economic impact of the infection has not been established. A systematic review of the economic impact of N. caninum infections/abortions was conducted, searching PubMed with the terms 'cattle' and 'Neospora'. This yielded 769 publications and the abstracts were screened for economically relevant information (e.g. abortion prevalence and risk, serological prevalence). Further analysis was restricted to countries with at least five relevant publications. In total, 99 studies (12.9%) from 10 countries contained data from the beef industry (25 papers (25.3%)) and 72 papers (72.8%) from the dairy industry (with the remaining two papers (2.0%) describing general abortion statistics). The total annual cost of N. caninum infections/abortions was estimated to range from a median US $1.1 million in the New Zealand beef industry to an estimated median total of US $546.3 million impact per annum in the US dairy population. The estimate for the total median N. caninum-related losses exceeded US $1.298 billion per annum, ranging as high as US $2.380 billion. Nearly two-thirds of the losses were incurred by the dairy industry (US $842.9 million). Annual losses on individual dairy farms were estimated to reach a median of US $1,600.00, while on beef farms these costs amounted to just US $150.00. Pregnant cows and heifers were estimated to incur, on average, a loss due to N. caninum of less than US $20.00 for dairy and less than US $5.00 for beef. These loss estimates, however, rose to ∼US $110.00 and US $40.00, respectively, for N. caninum-infected pregnant dairy and beef cows. This estimate of global losses due to N. caninum, with the identification of clear target markets (countries, as well as cattle industries), should provide an incentive to develop treatment options and/or vaccines.

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