Journal article Open Access

Gray wolf (Canis lupus) is a natural definitive host for Neospora caninum

Dubey, J. P.; Jenkins, M. C.; Rajendran, C.; Miska, K.; Ferreira, L. R.; Martins, J.; Kwok, O. C. H.; Choudhary, S.

The gray wolf (Canis lupus) was found to be a new natural definitive host for Neospora caninum. Neospora-like oocysts were found microscopically in the feces of three of 73 wolves from Minnesota examined at necropsy. N. caninum-specific DNA was amplified from the oocysts of all three wolves. Oocysts from one wolf were infective for the gamma interferon gene knock out (KO) mice. Viable N. caninum (designated NcWolfUS1) was isolated in cell cultures seeded with tissue homogenate from the infected mouse. Typical thick walled tissue cysts were found in outbred mice inoculated with the parasite from the KO mouse. Tissue stages in mice stained positively with N. caninum-specific polyclonal antibodies. Our observation suggests that wolves may be an important link in the sylvatic cycle of N. caninum.

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