Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 27, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Infections by single-celled parasites of the genus Sarcocystis are widely prevalent in livestock. Certain species of Sarcocystis cause abortion, neonatal mortality, and weight loss in livestock. Compared to Sarcocystis species of mammals, little is known of Sarcocystis species in birds. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and the University of Georgia describe for first time, a case of fatal sarcocystosis in a wild turkey from Georgia. These findings will be of interest to veterinarians, parasitologists, and biologists.
A Sarcocystis-like organism was associated with encephalitis and myocarditis in an ataxic, emaciated adult male turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) from Gilmer County, West Virginia. Protozoal schizonts and merozoites were associated with areas of inflammation and occasionally necrosis in both the heart and the brain. The organisms divided by endopolygeny and stained positively with anti-Sarcocystis cruzi serum in an immunohistochemical test.