Fernández Escobar, Mercedes

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First Name
Last Name
Fernández Escobar
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Faculty / Institute
Sanidad Animal
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Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Publication
    Effects of Ovine Monocyte-Derived Macrophage Infection by Recently Isolated Toxoplasma gondii Strains Showing Different Phenotypic Traits
    (MPDI, 2022-12-07) Vallejo, Raquel; Benavides, Julio; Arteche Villasol, Noive; Fernández Escobar, Mercedes; Ferreras, María Del Carmen; Pérez, Valentín; Gutierrez Expósito, Daniel
    Ovine toxoplasmosis is one the most relevant reproductive diseases in sheep. The genetic variability among different Toxoplasma gondii isolates is known to be related to different degrees of virulence in mice and humans, but little is known regarding its potential effects in sheep. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of genetic variability (types II (ToxoDB #1 and #3) and III (#2)) of six recently isolated strains that showed different phenotypic traits both in a normalized mouse model and in ovine trophoblasts, in ovine monocyte-derived macrophages and the subsequent transcript expression of cytokines and iNOS (inducible nitric oxide synthase). The type III isolate (TgShSp24) showed the highest rate of internalization, followed by the type II clonal isolate (TgShSp2), while the type II PRU isolates (TgShSp1, TgShSp3, TgShSp11 and TgShSp16) showed the lowest rates. The type II PRU strains, isolated from abortions, exhibited higher levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines and iNOS than those obtained from the myocardium of chronically infected sheep (type II PRU strains and type III), which had higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. The present results show the existence of significant intra- and inter-genotypic differences in the parasite-macrophage relationship that need to be confirmed in in vivo experiments.
  • Publication
    Dynamics of Neospora caninum-Associated Abortions in a Dairy Sheep Flock and Results of a Test-and-Cull Control Programme
    (MPDI, 2021-11-20) Sánchez Sánchez, Roberto; Vázquez Calvo, Ángela; Fernández Escobar, Mercedes; Regidor Cerrillo, Javier; Benavides, Julio; Gutiérrez, Jorge; Gutierrez Expósito, Daniel; Crespo Ramos, Francisco José; Ortega Mora, Luis Miguel; Álvarez García, Gema
    Neospora caninum is an apicomplexan parasite that can cause abortions and perinatal mortality in sheep. Although ovine neosporosis has been described worldwide, there is a lack of information about the relationship between N. caninum serostatus and the reproductive performance. In this study, we described the infection dynamics in a dairy sheep flock with an abortion rate up to 25% and a N. caninum seroprevalence of 32%. Abortions were recorded in 36% and 9% of seropositive and seronegative sheep, respectively. Seropositive sheep were more likely to abort twice (OR = 4.44) or three or more times (OR = 10.13) than seronegative sheep. Endogenous transplacental transmission was the main route of transmission since 86% of seropositive sheep had seropositive offspring. Within dams that had any abortion, seropositive sheep were more likely than seronegative ones to have female descendants that aborted (OR = 8.12). The slight increase in seropositivity with the age, the low percentage of animals with postnatal seroconversion or with low avidity antibodies, and the seropositivity of one flock dog, indicated that horizontal transmission might have some relevance in this flock. A control programme based on selective culling of seropositive sheep and replacement with seronegative animals was effective in reducing the abortion rate to 7.2%.