Submitted to: Journal of Wildlife Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Parasites of the genus Sarcocystis are single-celled organisms. Sarcocystis infections are common in muscles of herbivores but are rarely reported in muscles of carnivores. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and the Oklahoma State University report for the first time Sarcocystis infection in muscles of 2 of 52 wild coyotes. These results will be of interest to wildlife biologists, parasitologists, and pathologists.
In a recent survey in Oklahoma, 52 free-ranging coyotes were examined for the presence of sarcocysts. Two of these coyotes were found infected with sarcocysts in skeletal muscle. By light microscopy, the cyst wall was thin and smooth. Ultrastructurally, the cyst wall had minute villar protrusions. The sarcocysts were 14.4 to 50.4 æm wide and 46.8 to 99 æm long. This is the first report of Sarcocystis sp sarcocysts in the skeletal muscle of coyotes.