Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/10/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Sarcocystis neurona is a single-celled parasite that can cause fatal disease in horses called equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). EPM is a common cause of neurologic disorders in horses in North America. Horses become infected with EPM by ingesting the resistant stage (sporocyst) excreted in the feces of infected opossums. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and La Plata National University in Argentina report for the first time the prevalence of Sarcocystis neurona infection in horses from Argentina. These results will be of interest to veterinarians, parasitologists, and diagnosticians.
Technical Abstract: Sera from 76 draft horses from Argentina were examined for antibodies to Sarcocystis neurona, Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum. Antibodies to S. neurona were found in 27 (35.5%) of 76 horses using the immunoblots and culture derived merozoites as antigen. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 10 (13.1%) of 76 horses by the use of modified agglutination test with formalin-fixed tachyzoites and mercaptoethanol; titers were 1:25 (2 horses), 1:50 (6 horses), 1:100 (2 horses), and 1:200 (1 horse). Antibodies to N. caninum were not found in any of the 76 horses by the use of Neospora agglutination test. This is the first report of Sarcocystis neurona infection in horses in Argentina.