Molecular detection of Neospora caninum in azara’s night monkey (Aotus azarae) of wildlife in the state of Mato Grosso: Case report

ABSTRACT Studies indicate through experimental infection that non-human primates are susceptible to infection by Neospora caninum. This report is of a case of a night monkey (Aotus azarae infulatus) that presented nonspecific signs and did not respond to supportive clinical therapy evolving to death, followed by a pathology examination. Tissue specimens were routinely collected and processed for the preparation of histological slides. Microscopically, the main lesion was observed in the heart and consisted of multifocal necrotic myocarditis by protozoa, with the presence of structures compatible with the stage of protozoan tachyzoites of the genus Neospora sp. or Toxoplasma sp. In the central nervous system, predominantly in the brainstem there were structures similar to those described in the heart. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) results were positive for N. caninum and was negative for Toxoplasma gondii using DNA extracted from blood and tissues. This case report provides histological and molecular evidence that the primate in question was susceptible to a natural infection, but studies should be conducted to investigate the real role of primates in the life cycle of N. caninum.