Survey of sarcocystis infection in slaughtered sheep in Kerman Abattoir, Kerman, Iran


Sarcocystosis caused by different Sarcocystis species and is a zoonotic protozoan infection with worldwide distribution in man and many animal species. In the present study, three techniques — direct inspection, impression smears and digestion method — were used for the diagnosis of Sarcocystis infection in 112 slaughtered sheep in a Kerman abattoir from November 2010 to May 2011. A total of 450 slaughtered sheep were selected randomly during three seasons, and their oesophagus and diaphragm were inspected using naked eye examination. In the second stage, 112 carcasses out of the 450 which had no apparent infection were selected randomly and their meat investigated using two techniques: impression smear with staining and pepsin digestion. The percentage of macroscopic cysts found in the oesophagus and diaphragm muscle was 6% and 2.88%, respectively, and microscopically, infection was found in 100% of the organs. There was no significant difference between different ages or between males and females. Although all of the sheep were found to be infected with Sarcocystis, majority of the cysts were demonstrated microscopically. This suggests that meat should be cooked sufficiently, since a macroscopic inspection may not provide true results.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2


  1. Atashparvar N, Soukhtezari A, Asalani A (2001) Survey of Sarcocystis in sheep and goats in Khoram Abad. 3rd National Congress of Medical Parasitology, Sari, Iran, pp. 251

  2. Bunyaratvej S, Unpunyo P, Pongtippan A (2007) The Sarcocystis-cyst containing beef and pork as the sources of natural intestinal sarcocystosis in Thai people. J Med Assoc Thai 90(10):2128–2135

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Daryani A, Alaei R, Dehghan MH, Arab R, Sharif M, Ziaei H (2006) Survey of Sarcocystis infection in slaughtered sheep and buffaloes in Ardabil, Iran. J Anim Vet Adv 5(1):60–62

    Google Scholar 

  4. Diez P, Banos PD (1978) The prevalence of sarcospordiosis in sheep in province of Leon, with a comparative study of various diagnostic methods. An Fac Vet de Leon 24:195–199

    Google Scholar 

  5. Dubná S, Langrová I, Nápravník J, Jankovská I (2007) The prevalence of intestinal parasites in dogs from Prague, rural areas, and shelters of the Czech Republic. Vet Parasitol 10: 145(1–2):120–128

    Google Scholar 

  6. Fayer R (2004) Sarcocystis spp. in human infections. Clin Microbiol Rev 17(4):894–902

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Fukuyo M, Battsetseg B, Byamba A (2002) Prevalence of sarcocystis infection in meat-producing animals in Mongolia Southeast Asia. J Trop Med Public Health 33:490–493

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Ginawi MA, Shommein AM (1977) Prevalence of sarcocystosis in sheep, goats and camels in the Sudan. J Vet Sci Anim Husb 18:92–97

    Google Scholar 

  9. Khalifa RM, El-Nadi NA, Saved FG, Omran EK (2008) Comparative morphological studies on three Sarcocystis species in Sohag, Egypt. J Egypt Soc Parasitol 38(2):599–608

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Latif BMA, Al-Delemi JK, Mohammed BS, Al-Bayati SM, Amiry AM (1999) Prevalence of Sarcocystis spp. In meat production animals in Iraq. Vet Parasitol 84:85–90

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Mala P, Baranova M (1995) Diagnosis of Sarcocystis infection in slaughter animals at veterinary meat inspection. Vet Med 40:97–100

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Moré G, Basso W, Bacigalupe D, Venturini MC, Venturini L (2008) Diagnosis of Sarcocystis cruzi, Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii infections in cattle. Parasitol Res 102(4):671–675

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Oryan A, Moghaddar N, Gaur SN (1996) The distribution pattern of Sarcocystis species, their transmission and pathogenesis in sheep in Fars Province of Iran. Vet Res Commun 20(3):243–253

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Ozturk G (1994) Incidence of ovine sarcospordiosis in the myocardium of sheep. Saglik Bilimleri Dergisi 8:66–69

    Google Scholar 

  15. Pena HF, Ogassawara S, Sinhorini IL (2001) Occurrence of cattle Sarcocystis spp. in raw kibbe from Arabian food establishments in the city of Sao Paolo, Brazil and experimental transmission to humans. J Parasitol 87:1459–1465

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Pritt B, Trainer T, Simmons-Arnold L, Evans M, Dunams D, Rosenthal BM (2008) Detection of Sarcocystis parasites in retail beef: a regional survey combining histological and genetic detection methods. J Food Prot 71(10):2144–2147

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. Radfar MH, Khosravi A (2001) Survey of Sarcocystis in sheep and goats in Kerman. 3rd National Congress of Medical Parasitology, Sari, Iran, p 287

  18. Razavi SM, Shekarforoush SS, Farahani M, Sarihi K (2003) Prevalence of sarcocyst in slaughtered sheep in Shiraz, Iran. J Vet Parasitol 17(2):139–141

    Google Scholar 

  19. Rosenthal BM, Dunams DB, Pritt B (2008) Restricted genetic diversity in the ubiquitous cattle parasite, Sarcocystis cruzi. Infect Genet Evol 8:588–592

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. Savini G, Dunsmore JD, Robertson ID, Seneviratna P (1992) The epidemiology of Sarcocystis spp in cattle of Western Australia. Epidemiol Infect 108:107–113

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. Valinezhad A, Oryan A, Ahmadi N (2008) Sarcocystis and its complications in camels (Camelus dreomedarius) of eastern provinces of Iran. Korean J Parasitol 46:229–234

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Vangeel L, Houf K, Chiers K, Vercruysse J, D'Herde K, Ducatelle R (2007) Molecular-based identification of Sarcocystis hominis in Belgian minced beef. J Food Prot 70:1523–1526

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  23. Woldemeskel M, Gebreab F (1996) Prevalence of Sarcocystis in livestock of northwest Ethiopia. J Vet Med Ser B 43:55–58

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mohammad Mirzaei Dehaghi.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Mirzaei Dehaghi, M., Fallahi, M., Sami, M. et al. Survey of sarcocystis infection in slaughtered sheep in Kerman Abattoir, Kerman, Iran. Comp Clin Pathol 22, 343–346 (2013).

Download citation


  • Sarcocystis
  • Sheep
  • Impression smear and digestion method
  • Kerman