Neospora caninum is an obligate intracellular parasite that can infect domestic and wild canids, ruminants, and horses. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between the presence of antibodies to N. caninum and reproductive loss in beef heifers in the South Pantanal region of Mato Grosso, Brazil. A total of 1098 heifers were evaluated from breeding to calving with regard to reproductive performance, and serology for neosporosis was assayed by indirect immunofluorescence reaction. The prevalence of N. caninum in cows that had failed to conceive was 22.13% higher than in those that had conceived (p < 0.0001), indicating a significant correlation between non-conception and presence of anti-N. caninum antibodies. The extraction rates for seropositive and seronegative heifers were 28.24 and 50.12%, respectively, with a statistically significant value (p < 0.0001) that showed a decrease of 44% in the extraction rate of seropositive animals. The results emphasize the importance of diagnosis for monitoring of neosporosis in primiparous cows, and indicators of seropositive females as a factor in strategies for culling the beef cattle herd.
Reproduction; bovine; diagnostic; abortion; Neospora caninum