First report of antibodies to Neospora spp. in horses from Portugal

Abstract Neospora spp. are intracellular protozoa with worldwide distribution and closely related to Toxoplasma gondii, which can infect a variety of mammals including horses. From September 2013 to June 2014, 185 horses from northern, central and southern parts of mainland Portugal were randomly sampled and tested for detection of immunoglobulin (Ig) G antibodies to Neospora spp. using an indirect multi-species enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) commercial test (ID Screen® Neospora caninum Indirect Multi-species; Innovative Diagnostics, Grabels, France). Two horses (1.1%; CI: 0.1-3.8%), one male and one female, were found to be seropositive for Neospora spp. Both seropositive animals were horses housed indoors but with access to outdoors, used for leisure activities and were apparently healthy, with good body condition and with no alterations at physical examination. This was the first serologic survey of antibodies to Neospora spp. carried out in horses from Portugal.