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J Parasitol. 1989 Oct;75(5):772-9.

Neospora caninum (Protozoa: apicomplexa) infections in mice.

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Zoonotic Diseases Laboratory, U.S.D.A., Beltsville, Maryland 20705.


Groups of mice were given 0 mg, 4 mg, or 2 mg of methylprednisolone acetate (MPA) 7 days prior to, the day of, and 7 days after subcutaneous inoculation with 0 or 2 x 10(5) tachyzoites of Neospora caninum. Clinical signs of disease were seen only in mice given both MPA and N. caninum tachyzoites. Mice given 4 mg MPA and N. caninum tachyzoites developed severe disseminated neosporosis and most died or were killed when comatose 11-13 days postinoculation (PI). Acute pneumonia, polymyositis, encephalitis, hepatitis, and pancreatitis were the main lesions in these mice. Mice given 2 mg MPA and N. caninum developed mild pneumonia and many mice began showing neurological signs 14 days PI. Neurological signs consisted mainly of pronounced head-tilting and associated impairment of movement. Grossly visible 1-2-mm single or multiple, white areas of discoloration were seen in the brains of many of these mice. Encephalitis, ganglioradiculoneuritis, pneumonia, and polymyositis were the main changes seen in these mice. Tissue cysts of N. caninum were only seen in mice given 2 mg MPA and were first seen 21 days PI. Tissue cysts were 16-34 by 13-29 microns and had a 1.5-3.0-microns-thick cyst wall. Tissue cysts were seen only in the brain. Mice given 4 mg MPA and tachyzoites and host cells that had been frozen for 1 wk did not develop clinical signs of infection, indicating that freezing kills tachyzoites and that viruses or other agents were not involved in the genesis of disease seen in mice given MPA and viable tachyzoites.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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