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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter October 18, 2018

First molecular detection and phylogenetic analysis of Neospora caninum DNA from naturally infected goats in Northwest Tunisia

  • Yosra Amdouni EMAIL logo , Safa Amairia , Yousra Said , Sofia Awadi and Mohamed Gharbi
From the journal Acta Parasitologica


Neospora caninum is an intracellular protozoan parasite from the phylum Apicomplexa, mainly associated with abortions and causing enormous economic losses. We aimed, by the present study, to estimate the molecular prevalence and phylogenetic analyses of natural infection with N. caninum in Tunisian goats. A total number of 121 meat samples were collected from slaughtered goats in the regional slaughterhouse of Béja (Northwest Tunisia) and tested from N. caninum ITS1 gene using PCR followed by sequencing of PCR products. Phylogenetic analyses were used to identify this parasite infecting goats in Nortwest Tunisia. The overall molecular prevalence was 19% (23/121). The highest molecular prevalence of N. caninum was observed in goats aged between 2 and 4 years (31.9 ± 13.27%) (P = 0.004). There was no difference in the overall molecular prevalence of N. caninum according to both localities and animal breeds. Comparison of the partial sequences of the ITS1 gene revealed 99–100% similarity with GenBank sequences. A high similarity with all the blasted genotypes was reported for N. caninum sequences. This is the first molecular study and genetic characterisation of N. caninum in North African goats.

  1. Conflict of interest statement. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.


The study was funded by "Epidemiology of endemic infection of herbivores in Tunisia: application to the control". Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Information Technology and Communication, Tunisia. The authors thank Bechir Guesmi, Limam Sassi, and Taoufik Lahmar for their technical support. The authors would like to thank Miss Annah Lee from Texas A and M University, USA, for English editing and Professor Alexandre Litão from Instituo de Investigação Cientifica Tropical, Portugal, for providing positive control of N. caninum.


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Received: 2017-10-24
Revised: 2018-05-08
Accepted: 2018-06-28
Published Online: 2018-10-18
Published in Print: 2018-12-19

© 2018 W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, PAS

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