Encyclopedia of Parasitology

2016 Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Sarcocystis Species: Animals as Intermediate Hosts

  • Heinz MehlhornEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-43978-4_4491

Sarcocystis Species in Ruminants


Greek – sarx = meat, flesh; sporos = seed, cyst.

Species names are composed of names of intermediate and final host species (e.g., bovicanis – Latin: bos = cattle; canis = dog).

Geographic Distribution/Epidemiology

Worldwide, high prevalence rates (occasionally of 50 %) in animals on meadows.

Morphology/Life Cycle

After ingestion of sporulated oocysts, two generations of schizonts occur in cells of the wall of blood vessels of the omentum (Fig. 1). Beginning after one month cyst formation starts in muscle cells (Fig. 2). The formerly as Miescher’s tubes (Miescher) described tissue cysts can be found as different species in all ruminants. The following species (see others in Table 1,  Sarcocystis) are of importance for humans, since they may infect humans directly or lead to economic losses in cattle/sheep/goat production.
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Further Readings

  1. Frenkel JK, Heydorn AO, Mehlhorn H, Rommel M (1980) Clear communication or arbitraty ambiguity. Parasitol Res 62:199–201Google Scholar
  2. Kutkiene L et al (2012) Descriptions of Sarcocystis turdusi sp. nov. from the common black bird (Turdus merula). Parasitology 139:1438–1443PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Mehlhorn H, Heydorn AO (1978) The Sarcosporidia. Adv Parasitol 22:1–103Google Scholar
  4. Mehlhorn H, Heydorn AO, Frenkel JK, Göbel E (1985) Announcement of the establishment of neohepantotypes for some important Sarcocystis species. Parasitol Res 71:689–692Google Scholar
  5. Olias P et al (2010a) Sarcocystis calchasi distinct to S. columbae sp. from the wood pigeon (Columba palumbus) and Sarcocystis sp. from the sparrowhawk. Vet Parasitol 171:7–14PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Olias P et al (2010b) Sarcocystis species lethal for domestic pigeons. Emerg Infect Dis 16:497–499PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Olias P et al (2010c) Sarcocystis calchasi sp. nov. of the domestic pigeon (Columba livia) and the Northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis): light and electron microscopic studies. Parasitol Res 106:577–585PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

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