Prevalence of antibodies to Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora hughesi in horses from Mexico

Michelle R. Yeargan, Cosme Alvarado-Esquivel, Jitender P. Dubey, Daniel K. Howe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) is a debilitating disease of horses caused by Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora hughesi. Sera from 495 horses in Durango State, Mexico were tested for anti-protozoal antibodies using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) based on major surface antigens of these two parasites. Antibodies to S. neurona were detected in 240 (48.5%) of the 495 horse sera tested with the rSnSAG2/4/3 trivalent ELISA. Multivariate analysis showed that exposure to S. neurona was associated with age, feeding grains and crops, and small herd size. Antibodies to N. hughesi were found in 15 (3.0%) of the 495 horse sera tested with the rNhSAG1 ELISA and confirmed by Western blot of N. hughesi tachyzoite antigen. This is the first report of S. neurona and N. hughesi exposure in horses in Mexico, and it affirms that EPM should be in the differential diagnosis for horses exhibiting signs of neurologic disease in this country.

Original languageEnglish
Article number29
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded partly by the Amerman Family Equine Research Endowment. The information reported in this paper (Manuscript #13-14-109) is part of a project of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station and is published with the approval of the Director.


  • Central America
  • Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis
  • Seroprevalence
  • Surface antigens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Veterinary (miscellaneous)
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases


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