Spatial associations among density of cattle, abundance of wild canids, and seroprevalence to Neospora caninum in a population of beef calves. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To determine the epidemiologic plausibility of a sylvatic transmission cycle for Neospora caninum between wild canids and beef cattle. DESIGN: Spatial analysis study. ANIMALS: 1,009 weaned beef steers from 94 beef herds in Texas. PROCEDURE: Calves were grouped on the basis of seroprevalence for N caninum and ecologic region in Texas. The Morans I test was used to evaluate spatial interdependence for adjusted seroprevalence by ecologic region. Cattle density (Number of cattle/259 km2 [Number of cattle/100 mile2] of each ecologic region) and abundance indices for gray foxes and coyotes (Number of animals/161 spotlight-transect [census] km [Number of animals/100 census miles] of each ecologic region) were used as covariates in spatial regression models, with adjusted seroprevalence as the outcome variable. A geographic information system (GIS) that used similar covariate information for each county was used to validate spatial regression models. Results-Spatial interdependence was not detected for ecologic regions. Three spatial regression models were tested. Each model contained a variable for cattle density for the ecologic regions. Results for the 3 models revealed that seroprevalence was associated with cattle density and abundances of gray foxes, coyotes, or both. Abundances of gray foxes and coyotes were collinear. Results of a GIS-generated model validated these spatial models. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: In Texas, beef cattle are at increased risk of exposure to N caninum as a result of the abundance of wild canids and the density of beef cattle. It is plausible that a sylvatic transmission cycle for neosporosis exists.

published proceedings

  • J Am Vet Med Assoc

author list (cited authors)

  • Barling, K. S., Sherman, M., Peterson, M. J., Thompson, J. A., McNeill, J. W., Craig, T. M., & Adams, L. G.

citation count

  • 64

complete list of authors

  • Barling, KS||Sherman, M||Peterson, MJ||Thompson, JA||McNeill, JW||Craig, TM||Adams, LG

publication date

  • November 2000