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Diversity 2010, 2(3), 411-438; doi:10.3390/d2030411

On the Biological and Genetic Diversity in Neospora caninum

Department of Medical and Molecular Biosciences, University of Technology, Sydney, P. O. Box 123, Broadway, New South Wales 2007, Australia
School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, University of Adelaide, Roseworthy, South Australia 5371, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 January 2010 / Revised: 20 February 2010 / Accepted: 5 March 2010 / Published: 22 March 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Diversity Assessed by Molecular Methods)
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Neospora caninum is a parasite regarded a major cause of foetal loss in cattle. A key requirement to an understanding of the epidemiology and pathogenicity of N. caninum is knowledge of the biological characteristics of the species and the genetic diversity within it. Due to the broad intermediate host range of the species, worldwide geographical distribution and its capacity for sexual reproduction, significant biological and genetic differences might be expected to exist. N. caninum has now been isolated from a variety of different host species including dogs and cattle. Although isolates of this parasite show only minor differences in ultrastructure, considerable differences have been reported in pathogenicity using mainly mouse models. At the DNA level, marked levels of polymorphism between isolates were detected in mini- and microsatellites found in the genome of N. caninum. Knowledge of what drives the biological differences that have been observed between the various isolates at the molecular level is crucial in aiding our understanding of the epidemiology of this parasite and, in turn, the development of efficacious strategies, such as live vaccines, for controlling its impact. The purpose of this review is to document and discuss for the first time, the nature of the diversity found within the species Neospora caninum.
Keywords: Diversity; Ultrastructure; Pathogenicity; Antigens; Minisatellites; Microsatellites Diversity; Ultrastructure; Pathogenicity; Antigens; Minisatellites; Microsatellites
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Al-Qassab, S.E.; Reichel, M.P.; Ellis, J.T. On the Biological and Genetic Diversity in Neospora caninum . Diversity 2010, 2, 411-438.

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