Encyclopedia of Parasitology

2016 Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Sarcocystis Species of Birds

  • Heinz MehlhornEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-43978-4_4850

A broad range of birds are infected with Sarcocystis species as can be diagnosed by the existence of tissue cysts inside their muscle fibers. With respect to transmission experiments, rather few species are investigated. Thus in many cases, the life cycle is unknown, since the final (definitive) host (a raptor animal) has not yet been detected. The species determination in these cases is based on gene sequences in units such as 18SrRNA, 28SrRNA, or ITS-1.

The following Sarcocystis species have been described in more details than others:


Intermediate host

Final host

S. albifrons

White fronted goose (Anser albifrons)

Arctic fox

S. anasi

Mallard ducks (Anas species)


S. calchasi

Domestic pigeon (Columba livia)

Hawks (Accipiter gentilis)

S. chloropusae

Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)


S. columbae

Wood pigeon (Columba palumbus)

Hawks (Accipiter nisus)

S. cornixi

Hooded crow (Corvus cornix)


S. corvusi

Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)


S. falcatula

Falcons (Falco sp.)


S. lari


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Further Readings

  1. Dubey JP et al (2010) Morphologic and molecular characterization of the sarcocysts of Sarcocystis rileyi from the mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos). J Parasitol 96:765–770PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. El-Morsey A et al (2014) Sarcocystis chloropusae n. sp. infecting the common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus). Parasitol Res (in press)Google Scholar
  3. Kutkiene I et al (2009) Sarcocystis in birds of the family Corvidae with the description of Sarcocystis cornixi n. sp. from the hooded crown (Corvus cornix). Parasitol Res 104:329–336PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Kutkiene I et al (2010) The mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos) as intermediate host of Sarcocystis wobeseri from the barnacle goose (Branta leucopis). Parasitol Res 107:879–888PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Kutkiene I et al (2012) Description of Sarcocystis anasi sp. nov. and S. albifronsi sp. nov. in birds of the order Anseriformis. Parasitol Res 110:1043–1046PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Mehlhorn H, Heydorn AO (1978) Sarcosporidia (Protozoa, Sporozoa): life cycle and fine structure. Adv Parasitol 16:43–91PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Olias P et al (2010a) Sarcocystis calchasi nov. sp. of the domestic pigeon (Columba livia f. domestica) and the Northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis). Parasitol Res 106:577–585PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Olias P et al (2010b) Sarcocystis calchasi is distinct to S. columbae sp. nov. from the wood pigeon (Columba palumbus and Sarcocystis sp. from the sparrow hawk (Accipiter nisus). Vet Parasitol 171:7–14PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Prakas P et al (2013) Molecular and morphological investigations of Sarcocystis corvusi sp. nov. from the jackdaw (Corvus monedula). Parasitol Res 112:1163–1167PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Prakas P et al (2014) Description of Sarcocystis lari sp. nov. from the great black-backed gull Larus marinus on the basis of cyst morphology and DNA results. Parasitol Res 109:1603–1608CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

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