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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Morphologic and Genetic Characterization of Sarcocystis Sp Sarcocysts from the African Grey Parroot, Psittacus Erithacus

item Dubey, Jitender
item Rosenthal, Benjamin
item Morales, J - COSTA RICA

Submitted to: Acta Parasitologica
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 3, 2006
Publication Date: September 1, 2006
Citation: Dubey, J.P., Rosenthal, B.M., Morales, J.A. 2006. Morphologic and genetic characterization of Sarcocystis sp sarcocysts from the African grey parrot, psittacus erithacus. Acta Parasitologica. 51(3):161-168.

Interpretive Summary: Sarcocystis species are single celled parasites that cause illness in humans and livestock. Humans can become infected with this parasite by ingesting infected pork and beef. Cattle and pigs can become infected by ingesting food and water contaminated with the resistant parasite stages excreted in feces of infected humans.Many species of Sacrcocystis are pathogenic to animals. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and a University in Costa Rica report diagnosis and molecular characterization of a previously unrecognized species os Sarcocystis in a parrott.The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, public health workers,and veterinarians.

Technical Abstract: A Sarcocystis sp. is reported from a naturally infected African grey parrot, Psittacus erithacus from Costa Rica. Only mature sarcocysts were found measuring up to 2 mm in length and up to 750 um in width.. The sarcocyst wall was smooth. The villar protrusions on the sarcocyst wall were up to 5 'm long and up to 1.1 'm wide; they were folded over the sarcocyst wall giving a thin-walled appearance. The microtubules in villar protrusions were smooth and confined to villar protrusions. Bradyzoites in sections were 5.4- 6.6 x 1.3-2.0 'm in size. Sequencing the small subunit and first internal transcribed spacer portions of nuclear ribosomal RNA related this parasite, but distinguished it from, previously characterized species of Sarcocystis that encyst in the musculature of birds and complete their sexual development in New World opossums of the genus Didelphis.

Last Modified: 5/5/2015