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Parasite. 2013;20:29. doi: 10.1051/parasite/2013029. Epub 2013 Sep 10.

Prevalence of antibodies to Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora hughesi in horses from Mexico.

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Department of Veterinary Science, M.H. Gluck Equine Research Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40546-0099, USA.


Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) is a debilitating disease of horses caused by Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora hughesi. Sera from 495 horses in Durango State, Mexico were tested for anti-protozoal antibodies using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) based on major surface antigens of these two parasites. Antibodies to S. neurona were detected in 240 (48.5%) of the 495 horse sera tested with the rSnSAG2/4/3 trivalent ELISA. Multivariate analysis showed that exposure to S. neurona was associated with age, feeding grains and crops, and small herd size. Antibodies to N. hughesi were found in 15 (3.0%) of the 495 horse sera tested with the rNhSAG1 ELISA and confirmed by Western blot of N. hughesi tachyzoite antigen. This is the first report of S. neurona and N. hughesi exposure in horses in Mexico, and it affirms that EPM should be in the differential diagnosis for horses exhibiting signs of neurologic disease in this country.

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