Encyclopedia of Parasitology

2016 Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Sarcocystis Species: Animals as Final Hosts

  • Heinz MehlhornEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-43978-4_4492

Sarcocystis Species of Cats and Dogs


Greek; sarx = meat, flesh; sporos = seeds. The species names consist of a combination of the names of intermediate and final hosts.

Geographic Distribution/Epidemiology

The species occur worldwide, and the prevalence rates reach often up to 40 % especially on farms with numerous animals and close contacts between final and intermediate hosts.

Morphology/Life Cycle

Cats and dogs are as predator final hosts of a broad series of Sarcocystis species (see Table 1, “  Sarcocystis”). However, the oocysts and sporocysts, which are formed inside these final hosts, cannot be distinguished from each other by microscopic investigations but only by molecular biological criteria. However, the morphologic features of their cyst stages (initiated inside the plant-eating or omnivorous intermediate hosts) can be used as criteria to differentiate between species. The following main species are proven to occur in the intestines of dogs and cats and of course in...
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  1. Dubey JP, Hilali M, VAN Wilpe E, Calero-Bernal R, Verma SK, Abbas IE (2015) A review of sarcocystosis in camels and redescription of Sarcocystis cameli and Sarcocystis ippeni sarcocysts from the one-humped camel (Camelus dromedarius). Parasitology 142:1481–92Google Scholar
  2. Mehlhorn H, Heydorn AO (1978) The Sarcosporidia (Protozoa, Sporozoa): Life cycle and fine structure. Adv Parasitol 16:43–92Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

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