Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Sarcocystis neurona is a single-celled parasite. It causes a fatal neurologic disease in horses, equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). The antemortem diagnosis of EPM is a problem. A tedious immunoblot test is currently used for the diagnosis of EPM infections in horses. There is no serologic test for the diagnosis of EPM like diseases in other animals. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and Virginia Tec report on the development of a new simple direct agglutination test for the diagnosis of Sarcocystis neurona infection in all animals. The results will be of use to veterinarians and parasitologists.
Technical Abstract: Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) is a serious neurological disease of horses in the Americas. The apicomplexan protozoan most commonly associated with EPM is Sarcocystis neurona. A direct agglutination test (SAT) was developed to detect antibodies to S. neurona in experimentally infected animals. Merozoites of the SN6 strain of S. neurona collected from cell culture were used as antigen and 2-mercaptoethanol was added to the antigen suspension to destroy IgM antibodies when mixed with test sera. Mice fed sporocysts of S. speeri or S. falcatula-like sporocysts from opossums did not serconvert in the SAT. The sensitivity of the SAT was 100% and the specificity was 90% in mice.