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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Long, Maureen
item Mines, Melissa
item Knowles, Donald - Don
item Tanhauser, Susan
item Dame, John
item Cutler, Timothy
item Mackay, Robert
item Sellon, Debra

Submitted to: Experimental Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/7/2002
Publication Date: 3/7/2002
Citation: Experimental Parasitology 100 (2002) 150-154

Interpretive Summary: Sarcocystis neurona is the cause a major disease of the central nervous system of horses. SCID foals lack adaptive immune responses, i.e. they aren't capable of recognizing invading microorganisms. This report establishs the SCID foal as a model to study the methods in which S. neurona causes disease and death in horses, potentially aiding in diagnosis and treatment.

Technical Abstract: Sarcocystis neurona was isolated from the blood of a 5-month-old Arabian foal with severe combined inlmunodeficiency. The foal had been inoculated approxinlately 3 weeks previously with 5 x 105 sporocysts that were isolated from the intestines of an opossum and identified by restriction enzyme analysis of PCR products as S. neurona. The isolate obtained from the blood of this foal was characterized by genetic, serologic, and morphologic methods and identified as S. neurona (WSU1). This represents the first time that S. neurona has been isolated from any tissue after experimental infection of a horse. This is also the first time a parasitemia has been detected during either natural or experimental infection. The severe combined immunodeficiency foal model provides a unique opportunity to study the pathogenesis of S. neurona infection in horses and to determine the role of the immune system in the control of infection with and development of neurologic disease.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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