Veterinary parasitology

Detection of Neospora caninum-DNA in brain tissues from pigeons in Changchun, Jilin (China).

PMID 26385650


Neospora caninum is an intracellular protozoan infecting many domestic and wild animals. The domestic chicken (Gallus domesticus) and the sparrow (Passer domesticus) are known as natural intermediate hosts of N. caninum, whereas the role of other birds such as pigeons is still unclear. In the present study, pigeon brain tissues collected in Jilin of China were screened by N. caninum specific-nested PCR to determine whether pigeons functioned as the natural intermediate hosts of N. caninum. The prevalences of N. caninum DNA and Toxoplasma gondii DNA among the brain samples were 30% (63/210) and 13.33% (28/210), respectively. One brain sample was co-infected with N. caninum and T. gondii in naturally infected pigeon. Of the 63 positive samples 42 could be assigned to the NC-PR genotype, 10 to the NC-1 genotypes and 5, 3 and 3 respectively to the each of the three new genotypes identified, indicating genetic polymorphism of N. caninum in pigeons in Jilin of China. The present study expanded the list of intermediate hosts of N. caninum to include pigeons which suggests that pigeons are involved in the transmission of the N. caninum.