Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/26/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Parasites of the genus Sarcocystis are single-celled organisms. Sarcocystis falcatula is a highly pathogenic organism for certain species of birds. It is transmitted to birds via feces of infected opossums. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and the University of Missouri report a fatal case of sarcocystosis in an ibis (wading bird). These results will be of interest to wildlife biologists, parasitologists and pathologists.
Technical Abstract: A Sarcocystis neurona-like parasite was associated with acute sarcocystosis in the brain of an ibis (Carphibis spinicollis). Numerous schizonts and merozoites were found extravascularly in encephalitic lesions. These schizonts reacted positively with anti-S. neurona and anti-S. falcatula polyclonal antibodies in an immunohistochemical test. Sarcocysts of an unidentified Sarcocystis species were present in the brain, heart, and skeletal muscles. Sarcocysts in skeletal muscles were microscopic and the sarcocyst wall was up to 3 micrometers thick. The villar protrusions on the sarcocyst wall were up to 4.5 micrometers long, constricted at the base, and expanded laterally. Schizonts and sarcocysts were structurally distinct from S. falcatula.