Neosporosis is an infectious disease primarily of cattle and dogs, caused by intracellular parasite, Neospora caninum. Neosporosis appears to be a major cause of abortion in dairy cattle worldwide and causes to huge economic loss to dairy industry.
Recombinant surface associated antigen 1 (NcSAG1), NcSAG1 related sequence 2 (NcSRS2) and the dense granule antigen 2 (NcGRA2) of N. caninum were expressed either in silkworm or in Escherichia coli and purified. The purified recombinant proteins bound to the N. caninum-specific antibodies in serum samples from infected cattle as revealed by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). By co-immobilizing these recombinant proteins, a novel indirect ELISA was developed for detection of neosporosis. With the use of 32 serum samples, comprising 12 positive serum samples and 20 negative serum samples, the sensitivity and specificity of the assay were found to be 91.7 and 100%, respectively. Seventy-two serum samples from dairy farms were also tested and one was diagnosed with neosporasis with both this method and a commercial assay.
A diagnostic method employing recombinant proteins of N. caninum was developed. The method showed high sensitivity and specificity. Diagnostic test with field serum samples suggested its applicability to the practical diagnosis of neosporosis.