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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Huong, Lamm T
item Dubey, Jitender
item Nikkila, Tapio
item Uggla, Arvid

Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/23/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Sarcocystis species are single celled parasites with a 2-host life cycle. Herbivores are the intermediate hosts and carnivores are the definitive hosts. Herbivores become infected by ingesting food and water contaminated with feces of infected carnivores containing resistant forms of sarcocystis. In the herbivores, after an intial multiplication in many organs, the parasite forms a resting stage called cyst (sarcocyst) mainly in muscles. The sarcocysts may become macroscopic and infected meat can be rejected for human cunsumption. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and the Agricultural University in Uppsala, Sweden report a new species of Sarcocystis, S. bubalis that forms grossly visible sarcocysts in carcasses of water buffalo. Water buffaloes are the main milking and meat animals in many Asian countries.

Technical Abstract: Sarcocystis bubalis n. sp. is proposed for a species forming thick- walled, macroscopic sarcocysts in skeletal muscles and oesophagus of the water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis). Sarcocysts of S. bubalis were found in 68 (10.5%) of 647 buffalo carcasses examined grossly at slaughter in Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam. Sarcocystis bubalis sarcocysts were 1 to 8 mm long and 0.1 to 0.5 mm wide. The cyst wall was 3 to 5.8 m thick and had palisade-like villar protrusions which were constricted at the base, expanded laterally in the mid region and tapered distally. The villar protrusions contained microfilaments and electron dense granules. Sarcocysts of the other well known macroscopic species of water buffalo, S. fusiformis, were also found in 60 of the 68 animals infected with S. bubalis. Sarcocysts of S. fusiformis were thin-walled and had characteristic cauliflower-like villar protrusions. Attempts to determine the life cycle of S. bubalis included oral inoculations of cats and dogs with isolated S. bubalis sarcocysts. One cat fed 250 sarcocysts shed sporulated oocysts and sporocysts sized 8.6 x 12.8 um starting 10 days after inoculation.

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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