Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 23, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Infection by the protozoan parasites of the genus Sarcocystis are widely prevalent in livestock. Certain species of Sarcocystis cause weight loss, anorexia, abortion, and death in livestock. Little is know of the species of Sarcocystis in bear. Recently, an unknown species of Sarcocystis has caused death due to hepatitis in black bears and polar bears in the U.S. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and the North Carolina State University, Raleigh report Sarcocystis infections in muscles of a bear for the first time. These findings will be of interest to wildlife biologists and parasitologists.
Sarcocysts of an unidentified Sarcocystis species were found in sections of skeletal muscles of a black bear (Ursus americanus) from North Carolina. Two sarcocysts in a section measured 45 x 37.5 m and 67.5 x 50 m and had a thin (<2 m) sarcocyst wall. The villar protrusions on the cyst wall were up to 2 m long and up to 0.7 m wide. The bradyzoites were approximately 6 x 2.5 m in size. This is the first report of muscular Sarcocystis in a bear.