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Toxoplasma and Neospora: Opposite sides of the same coin

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Written by Ian Wright BVMS BSc MSc MRCVS
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Toxoplasma and Neospora: Opposite sides of the same coin

Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum are apicomplexan protozoa that inhabit the intestines of a variety of domestic and wild animals. Toxoplasma gondii infection carries significant zoonotic risk as well as potentially causing disease in the feline definitive host and abortion in sheep. Control of human toxoplasmosis is based predominantly on good hygiene and food preparation practice and much of the zoonotic risk can be mitigated through appropriate advice to clients. In comparsion, Neospora caninum is a major cause of bovine abortion and economic loss to beef and dairy farmers but poses little or no zoonotic risk. Dogs can be clinically affected by infection and be a source of oocysts capable of causing abortion storms in cattle herds. Preventing feeding of unprocessed raw diets to cats and dogs and preventing their access to sheep and cattle feed stores will help to minimise the economic impact of these parasites. This article considers disease control measures, clinical presentations, diagnosis and treatment in affected cats and dogs.

All our Tutored Online CPD Courses are written and taught by an expert in the relevant field. The tutor for this course is:

Ian Wright BVMS BSc MSc MRCVS