The direct effects of three steroid hormones (progesterone, estradiol-17β and corticosterone) on the growth of Neospora caninum (N. caninum) tachyzoite were examined in Vero cells. Subsequently, ovariectomized BALB/c mice infected with N. caninum were treated with physiological concentrations of the steroid hormones for 1 or 2 weeks. These hormones had no direct effect on the parasite growth in vitro. In the infected mice, there was no significant difference in the parasite distribution and histopathological changes between the hormone-injected and control groups. No mice showed parasitemia at the time of autopsy. These results suggest that physiological levels of steroid hormones (progesterone, estradiol-17β and corticosterone) do not reactivate N. caninum in mice.
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