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closely resembles Toxoplasma; canids are definitive hosts; ruminants, horses, pigs and other animals are intermediate hosts; causes ascending paralysis in puppies, calves, abortion in cattle and occasionally equine protozoal myeloencephalitis. Includes N. caninum.
N. caninum is a major cause of abortion in cattle, worldwide, and to a lesser extent sheep and horses. Infection of cattle is persistent and lifelong, and vertical infection results in abortion in some pregnancies producing a syndrome of sporadic endemic abortion in a herd that has infected female cattle. Epidemic abortion occurs with point source infection from dog feces in naïve herds. Calves infected while in-utero may die and be aborted, may be born with neurological disease, but commonly are born clinically normal, but infected and may themselves subsequently abort their calves when pregnant.