Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Sarcocystis neurona is a single celled parasite of companion animals and wildlife. It causes a fatal disease (EPM) in horses. Horses become infected by ingesting sporocysts (resistant stage) excreted in the feces of Virginian opossums (Didelphis virginiana). The parasite has not been isolated outside of North America. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and University of Sao Paulo report the first isolation of Sarcocystis neurona from Brazil in a new host, Didelphis albiventris. These results will be of interest to biologists, veterinarians, parasitologists and pathologists.
Technical Abstract: Sarcocystis neurona was isolated from sporocysts from 2 of 8 South American opossums, Didelphis albiventris, from Brazil. Interferon gamma gene knock out (KO) mice fed sporocysts from 2 opossums developed neurologic sarcocystosis. Sarcocystis neurona was demonstrated in the brains of infected KO mice by immunohistochemical staining with anti-S. neurona antibody. The parasite was cultivated in cell culture and S. neurona DNA was isolated from cultured merozoites. This is the first report of isolation of S. neurona from Brazil and the first report from its new host, D. albiventris.