Encyclopedia of Parasitology

2016 Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Sarcocystis

  • Heinz MehlhornEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-43978-4_2792

Name

Greek: sarx = meat, flesh; kystos = cyst, sporos = seed, capsule.

This term describes a genus of the protozoan group Apicomplexa (Sporozoa), which are now systematically included in the  Alveolata.

In the year 1843, Miescher observed, for the first time, cysts containing large numbers of banana-shaped protozoa within the muscles of mice. Until 1882, these cysts were termed Miescher’s tubes ( 1843), Rainey’s bodies, or psorosperms (Lindemann 1863; Ratzel 1868; Rivolta 1878). Because of the typical localization of the cysts within the muscles, Balbiani ( 1882) proposed the name Sarcosporidia. Today, such cysts have been seen in reptiles, birds, and many groups of mammals including man, monkey, and whale, such indicating a broad host range and worldwide distribution (Mehlhorn and Heydorn 1978a). The position of the Sarcosporidia within the Zoological system remained doubtful for long, since their life cycles were unknown. Electron microscopy of the cyst stages and comparison with...
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References

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für ZoomorphologieZellbiologie und Parasitologie, Heinrich-Heine-UniversitätDüsseldorfGermany