Seroprevalence of Sarcocystis neurona and Its Association With Neurologic Disorders in Argentinean Horses

Gastón Moré, Aldana Vissani, Lais Pardini, Marta Monina, Marcos Muriel, Daniel Howe, Maria Barrandeguy, Maria C. Venturini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) is generally caused by Sarcocystis neurona and can produce substantial economic losses on equine production in America. The aims of the present study were to evaluate the seroprevalence of S. neurona in the main horse-production area of Argentina and associate it with the occurrence of neurologic disorders. Serum samples were collected from 640 horses in nine Argentinean provinces. Most of the samples correspond to animals ≥1.5-year-old from different breeds (n = 628); 12 samples were from younger horses. Further seroprevalence comparison was conducted from the older animals grouped with (n = 148) or without neurologic signs (n = 480). Immunoblot: proteins from 2 × 107 S. neurona merozoites were used as antigen on each membrane. Reactivity to antigens with relative mobility of 7, 10, and 16kDa was considered specific for antibodies against S. neurona; reactivity at 30kDa was recorded separately. The overall seroprevalence for S. neurona was 26.1% (167/640), and all the provinces had positive horses. Seroprevalence of animals with neurologic signs was greater (P < .001) than what was observed in normal horses (39.2% vs. 22.1%), with an odds ratio of 2.27. Reactivity at 30kDa was detected in 71% of all samples. This study identified a wide distribution of S. neurona-positive animals in Argentina and horses with neurologic signs having a greater seroprevalence than normal horses. Sarcocystis neurona infection should be considered for early differential diagnosis and treatment of animals with neurologic disorders to decrease the economic impact of EPM in Argentina.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1051-1054
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Equine Veterinary Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Inc.


  • Argentina
  • EPM
  • Horse
  • Immunoblot
  • Sarcocystis neurona

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Equine


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