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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #334748

Research Project: Detection and Control of Foodborne Parasites for Food Safety

Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory

Title: Sarcocystis arctica (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae): ultrastructural description and its new host record, the Alaskan wolf (Canis lupus

item VERMA, SHIV - Non ARS Employee
item Mowery, Joseph
item CARMENA, DAVID - Instituto De Salud Carlos Iii
item BECKMAN, KIMBERLY - Desiderio Finamore Veterinary Research Institute (FEPAGRO)
item Dubey, Jitender

Submitted to: Parasitology Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/26/2016
Publication Date: 7/1/2016
Citation: Calero-Bernal, R., Cerqueira-Cezar, C., Verma, S., Mowery, J.D., Carmena, D., Beckman, K., Dubey, J.P. 2016. Sarcocystis arctica (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae): ultrastructural description and its new host record, the Alaskan wolf (Canis lupus. Parasitology Research. 115:2893-2897.

Interpretive Summary: Toxoplasmosis, caused by a single-celled parasite Toxoplasma gondii, continues to be public health problem worldwide. Sarcocystis is a close relative of Toxoplasma and carnivores excrete resistant stage of the parasite (oocysts) in their feces. Both Toxoplasma and Sarcocystis encyst in tissues of animals and dual infections are common and sometimes difficult to distinguish. In the present study, authors report for the first time Sarcocystis encysted in muscle of the Alaskan wolf. They characterize the parasite by morphology and molecular characteristics. These findings will be of interests to veterinarians, parasitologists, and pathologists

Technical Abstract: Sarcocystis sarcocysts are common in muscles of herbivores but are rare in muscles of carnivores. Here, we report sarcocysts in muscle of an Alaskan wolf (Canis lupus) from Alaska, USA for the first time. Sarcocysts extracted from tongue of the wolf were up to 900 µm long, slender, and appeared to have a relatively thin wall by light microscope. By transmission electron microscopy, the sarcocyst wall most closely resembled “type 9c”, and had a wavy parasitophorous vacuolar membrane folded as pleomorphic villar protrusions (vp), with anastomoses of tips. The vp and the ground substance (gs) layer were smooth without tubules or granules. The gs was up to 2.0 µm thick. The total width of the wall including vp and the gs was 3.5 µm. The vp were up to 1.5 µm long. Mature sarcocysts contained numerous bradyzoites and few metrocytes. The bradyzoites were 9.5 µm long and 1.5 µm wide, and contained all organelles found in Sarcocystis bradyzoites with at least 2 rhoptries. Molecular characterization showed the highest homology for 18S rRNA, 28S rRNA, ITS-1, and cox1 sequences of Sarcocystis arctica of the Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) from Norway. The ultrastructure of S. arctica from the fox is unknown. Here, we provide ultrastructure of S. arctica from the Alaskan wolf for the first time. The definitive host of S. arctica remains unknown.