Parasitology Research

, Volume 117, Issue 11, pp 3613–3618 | Cite as

First isolation of Sarcocystis caninum sarcocysts from two domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) from China

  • Yulong Ye
  • Yu Liang
  • Junjie HuEmail author
  • Zhumei Huang
  • Yunzhi Zhang
Original Paper


The presence of Sarcocystis cysts in the muscle tissue of domestic dogs (Canis familiaris), which normally serve as definitive hosts, is unusual and infrequent. Here, S. caninum sarcocysts were identified for the first time in two of 37 dogs (2.7%) from China. Examination using light microscopy found that the S. caninum sarcocysts were up to 1520 μm long and up to 147 μm wide and contained numerous 1.5–3.3 μm wedge-like villar protrusions (vp). Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the sarcocysts had pleomorphic vp that closely resembled those of “type 9c.” Five loci, 18S rDNA, 28S rDNA, mitochondrial cox1, ITS1 and ropB, were sequenced and characterized in S. caninum sarcocysts. The sequences of the five loci shared similarities of 99.9–100%, 99.0–100%, 99.4–100%, 99.6–100%, and 99.7–100%, respectively, with those of S. arctica. Phylogenetic analysis based on the sequences of 28S rDNA and mitochondrial cox1 indicated that S. caninum and S. arctica are closely related to Sarcocystis species that use a raptorial bird as their definitive host.


Domestic dog Sarcocystis caninum Ultrastructure Molecular characterization 



This work was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (grant 2017YFD0500400), the Natural Sciences Foundation of China (grant 31460557), and the Southeast Asia Biodiversity Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Science (grant Y4zk111B01).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesYunnan UniversityKunmingChina
  2. 2.Southwest Asia Biodiversity Research InstituteChinese Academy of ScienceNay Pyi TawMyanmar
  3. 3.Yunnan Institute of Endemic Diseases Control and PreventionDaliChina

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