Novel Monoclonal Antibodies against Neospora Caninum

Tech ID: 21464 / UC Case 2011-418-0


UCLA researchers have developed a large number of highly specific monoclonal antibodies against the intracellular parasite Neospora caninum that can be used for diagnostic or research purposes.


Apicomplexan parasites cause a wide array of diseases of medical and veterinary importance including malaria (Plasmodium spp.), toxoplasmosis (Toxoplasma gondii), coccidiosis (Eimeria spp.) and neosporosis (Neospora caninum). While the biology of the human pathogens is better understood, little is known of how the veterinary pathogens infect their specific hosts and cause disease. Neospora caninum is an important veterinary pathogen that causes abortion in cattle and neuromuscular disease in dogs. Neospora has also generated substantial interest because it is an extremely close relative of the human pathogen Toxoplasma gondii. While for Toxoplasma there are a wide array of molecular tools and reagents available for experimental investigation, relatively few reagents exist forNeospora.


The researchers have developed a large number of highly specific and robust monoclonal antibodies directed against Neospora caninum, which can be used for diagnostic or research purposes. They isolated a total of forty-six monoclonal antibodies against a variety of parasite organelles and identified the antigen for many of these by immunoaffinity purification and mass spectrometry. Included are antibodies that recognize the cellular components necessary for Neospora infection, such as those that allow for parasite invasion and hijacking of the host cell for intracellular survival. Most of the antibodies are specific to Neospora caninum, but some cross-react with Toxoplasma gondii. Together, this work will greatly enhance the post-genomic era of Neospora and enable functional comparisons between these important apicomplexan parasites to provide new clues to specific targets for therapeutic intervention.


  • Antemortem serological diagnosis of Neospora infection in dogs or cattle.
  • Cross-reactivity of some of the antibodies permits diagnosis of Neospora or Toxoplasma infection using a single reagent.
  • Provides new tools to study the cell biology of infection by apicomplexan parasites.


  • Provides many new monoclonal antibodies against Neospora to potentially provide more accurate diagnosis of infection.
  • Allows for the detection of specific Neospora organelles, providing subcellular resolution for research purposes.

State Of Development

The antibodies are at the "working prototype" stage; i.e., ready for development for diagnostic test kits or for use by research laboratories.

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  • Bradley, Peter J.

Other Information


Veterinary Diagnostics, Antibodies, Infectious disease, Parasites

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