Sarcocystis neurona-like encephalitis in a Canada lynx (Felis lynx canadensis).
ABSTRACT A 13-yr-old female Canada lynx (Felis lynx canadensis) died after a short clinical illness, and necropsy revealed multifocal, nonsuppurative encephalitis with protozoal schizonts present in cerebral vascular endothelial cells. The schizonts stained immunohistochemically with antiserum to Sarcocystis neurona. This is the first report of Sarcocystis encephalitis in the Canada lynx.
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ABSTRACT: Sarcocystis neurona is an important cause of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) in horses in the Americas. An EPM-like neurological disease also has been reported from other mammals but it is difficult to induce this disease in the laboratory. A 4-month-old male domestic cat developed neurological signs 3 days following castration. The cat was euthanized 12 days later because of paralysis. Encephalomyelitis was the only lesion and was associated with numerous Sarcocystis schizonts and merozoites in the brain and spinal cord. The protozoa reacted positively with S. neurona-specific polyclonal rabbit antibody. Two unidentified sarcocysts were present in the cerebellum. It may be possible that stress of surgery triggered relapse of S. neurona infection in this cat.Veterinary Parasitology 04/2003; 112(4):261-7. DOI:10.1016/S0304-4017(03)00019-0 · 2.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis is an important neurological disease of horses in the United States. Consequently, there is an active research effort to identify hosts associated with the primary causative agent, Sarcocystis neurona. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the domestic cat (Felis catus) is a natural host for S. neurona. Muscle sections from 50 primarily free-roaming domestic cats were examined for the presence of sarcocysts. Serum from cats in this group and another group of 50 free-roaming cats were evaluated for the presence of S. neurona antibody. Sarcocysts were found in five of 50 (10%) cats, and S. neurona antibody in five of 100 (5%) cats. Morphological, molecular (including ribosomal RNA genes), and biological characterisation of these sarcocysts showed that they were not S. neurona or S. neurona-like. Sarcocysts found in the cats were identified morphologically as Sarcocystis felis, a common parasite of wild felids. The life cycle of S. felis is not known, and prior to this study, no molecular marker for S. felis existed. Although cats were found to be infected with S. felis sarcocysts, serological data provided evidence of possible infection with S. neurona as well. Further work is needed to determine the role of the domestic cat in the life cycle of S. neurona.International Journal for Parasitology 08/2003; 33(8):877-83. DOI:10.1016/S0020-7519(03)00090-0 · 3.40 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Sarcocystis neurona, Sarcocystis canis, Toxoplasma gondii, and Neospora caninum are related apicomplexans that can cause systemic illness in many species of animals, including dogs. We investigated one breeder's 25 Basset Hounds for these infections. In addition, tissues from dogs and other non-canine hosts previously reported as S. canis infections were studied retrospectively. Schizonts resembling those of S. neurona, and recognized by polyclonal rabbit anti-S. neurona antibodies, were found in six of eight retrospective cases, as well as in two additional dogs (one Basset Hound, one Springer Spaniel) not previously reported. S. neurona schizonts were found in several tissues including the central nervous system, lungs, and kidneys. Fatal toxoplasmosis was diagnosed in an adult dog, and neosporosis was diagnosed in an adult and a pup related to the one diagnosed with S. neurona. No serological reactivity to S. neurona antibodies occurred when S. canis-like liver schizonts were retrospectively assayed from two dogs, a dolphin, a sea lion, a horse, a chinchilla, a black or either of two polar bears. Sequencing conserved (18S) and variable (ITS-1) portions of nuclear ribosomal DNA isolated from the schizont-laden liver of a polar bear distinguished it from all previously characterized species of Sarcocystis. We take this genetic signature as provisionally representative of S. canis, an assumption that should be tested with future sequencing of similar liver infections in other mammalian hosts. These findings further extend the uncharacteristically broad intermediate host range for S. neurona, which also causes a neurologic disease in cats, mink, raccoons, skunks, Pacific harbor seals, ponies, zebras, lynxes, and sea otters. Further work is necessary to delineate the causative agent(s) of other cases of canine sarcocystosis, and in particular to specify the attributes of S. canis, which corresponds morphologically to infections reported from wide range of terrestrial and marine mammals.Veterinary Parasitology 05/2006; 137(1-2):36-49. DOI:10.1016/j.vetpar.2005.12.017 · 2.55 Impact Factor