Encyclopedia of Parasitology

2016 Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Sarcocystis Species: Humans as Final Hosts

  • Heinz MehlhornEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-43978-4_4490

Sarcocystis suihominis and S. bovihominis


Greek: sarx = meat, flesh; kystos = cyst. Latin: sus = porc, pig; homo = human; bos = cattle; Miescher’s tubes = long cysts in muscle fibers detected by the swiss scientist Miescher (1811–1887).

Geographic Distribution/Epidemiology

Worldwide, probably several hundred million humans are infected from time to time. However, only rather few show clear significant symptoms for a short period of 24 h after an infection.

Morphology/Life Cycle

Infections occur with S. suihominis and S. bovihominis, if humans eat raw or undercooked meat of pigs respectively cattle that contains tissue cysts of these two species (Figs. 1, 2, 3, and 4). These cysts contain cystozoites (Fig. 4) and are characterized by different types of protrusions of the primary cyst wall. In the intestine of humans the cystozoites are set free and enter the intestinal wall. Inside the cells of subepithelial layer (lamina propria) gamogony starts and gives finally rise to fully...
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Further Readings

  1. Heydorn AO, Mehlhorn H (1978) Light and electron microscopic studies on Sarcocystis suihominis.2. The schizogony preceeding cyst formation. Zentralbl Bakt, Parasitenkd, Infektionskrankh Hyg I Abt Orig A 235:373–391Google Scholar
  2. Heydorn AO (1977) Beiträge zum Lebenszyklus von Sarkosporidien. IX. Untersuchungen zum Zyklus von Sarcocystis suihominis. Berl MünchTierärztl Wschr 90:218–224Google Scholar
  3. Heydorn AO (1975) Proposal for a new nomenclature of the sarcosporidia. Zentralbl Bakt, Parasitenkd, Infektionskrankh, Hyg I Abt Ortig, Row 48:73–82Google Scholar
  4. Mehlhorn H, Heydorn AO (1978) Thesarcosporidia: life cycle and fine structure. Adv Parasitol 16:43–92PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

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