Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/7/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Parasites of the genus Sarcocystis are widespread in livestock. Certain species of Sarcocystis cause weight loss, abortion and death. The water buffalo is important to the economy of many countries in the world, especially Egypt and Asia. Little is known of Sarcocystis infections in buffaloes. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, the Swedish University of Agriculture, Uppsala, and a veterinary institute in Vietnam studied Sarcocystis infections in buffaloes in Vietnam. They sorted out species of Sarcocystis present in buffaloes and redescribed the most common species, Sarcocystis levinei. This information will be useful to parasitologists and veterinarians.
Technical Abstract: Sarcocystis levinei Dissanaike and Kan, 1978 is redescribed because the original description was a mixture of 2 species, the amended S. levinei and the newly recognized S. buffalonis Huong, Dubey, Nikkila, and Uggla, 1997. In histological sections, S. levinei sarcocysts are microscopic, up to 640 um long and up to 95 um wide. Ultrastructurally, the cyst wall is thin (<1.0 um thick) with a minute undulating surface and smooth, hairlike villar protrusions arising at irregular distances from the cyst wall. The villar protrusions have a dome-shaped base (- 0.5 um thick), a finger-like middle part, and a tapering distal end (<0.1 um thick). The morphological features of the sarcocyst resemble those of S. cruzi (Hesselman, 1926) Wenyon, 1926, of cattle. Sarcocystis levinei sarcocysts were found in striated muscles including heart, esophagus, tongue and skeletal muscle. The buffalo myocardium is parasitized exclusively by S. levinei whereas > 1 1Sarcocystis species may occur concurrently in other muscular tissues of water buffaloes. Two dogs, but not 2 cats, fed water buffalo hearts infected with S. levinei sarcocysts shed sporocysts measuring 9.5 - 10.5 x 14.0 - 16.5 um starting from days 16 and 18, respectively.