Prevalence of Sarcocystis spp. in Argentinean cattle.
ABSTRACT Sarcocystis cruzi, S. hirsuta and S. hominis are apicomplexan parasites that affect cattle worldwide with variable prevalence. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence of Sarcocystis spp. in Argentinean cattle comparing microscopic fresh examination and molecular methods. Blood, myocardium and loin samples were collected in five slaughterhouses from a total of 380 bovines. Origin of animals was representative of the major beef cattle production area of Argentina. Samples were analyzed by fresh microscopical examination, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), IFAT and PCR-RFLP. Thin walled sarcocysts corresponding with S. cruzi were found in 99.5% of heart samples. Sarcocysts were detected in 73.1% of loin samples; 71.5% had S. cruzi cysts and 23.1% had thick walled sarcocysts (S. hirsuta or S. hominis). TEM observation revealed the presence of characteristic S. hominis and S. hirsuta cyst walls in 7 and 1 loin samples respectively. Using IFAT, 379/380 animals had titers 25 or higher, showing a full agreement with fresh examination. Amplification products were detected in 35.5% (135/380) of loin samples; however Sarcocystis species could only be determined by RFLP in 29 samples. Agreement between fresh examination and PCR was low (Kappa value=0.262). This is the first report of S. hominis and S. hirsuta in Argentina. Further studies are needed to improve the sensitivity of molecular methods for species identification, especially for differentiation of S. cruzi and S. hirsuta from the zoonotic species S. hominis. The results of the present study and others focusing on sensitivity and specificity of Sarcocystis spp. diagnostic methods should contribute to improve food safety.
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ABSTRACT: Sarcocystis is an obligatory intracellular protozoan parasite which can infect humans and animals. Sheep are intermediate hosts of four Sarcocystis species: Sarcocystis tenella, Sarcocystis gigantea, Sarcocystis arieticanis, and Sarcocystis medusiformis The purpose of this study was to perform a molecular identification of the macroscopic and microscopic cysts of Sarcocystis in sheep. In this investigation, the macroscopic and microscopic cysts of Sarcocystis were assessed in slaughtered sheep. The digestion method was used for bradyzoites observation in heart, liver, diaphragm and muscle samples. PCR analysis was conducted on macroscopic and microscopic cysts and also all other samples. Sequencing was performed for ten PCR products. Genotypes were identified by BLAST search and homology analysis. Macrocysts were seen in two muscle tissues. Digestion method and PCR analysis revealed positive results in all samples taken from heart, liver, diaphragm, and muscle. Genotyping of ten tissue samples proved that the genotype of macroscopic belonged to Sarcocystis gigantea and microscopic cysts to Sarcocystis tenella. Microscopic cysts are more prevalent than macroscopic cysts and they can cause enormous economic losses.International journal of molecular and cellular medicine. 01/2014; 3(1):51-6.
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ABSTRACT: Bovines are intermediate hosts of Sarcocystis cruzi, Sarcocystis hirsuta, and Sarcocystis hominis, which use canids, felids, or primates as definitive hosts, respectively. Cattle represent also intermediate hosts of Sarcocystis sinensis, but the definitive hosts of this parasite are not yet known. Sarcocystosis in cattle is frequently asymptomatic. The infection is characterized by the presence of thin-walled (S. cruzi) or thick-walled muscle cysts or sarcocysts (S. hominis, S. sinensis, and S. hirsuta). Recent reports suggest high prevalence of the zoonotic S. hominis in beef in Europe. We therefore aimed at differentiating Sarcocystis spp. in beef offered to consumers in Germany using molecular and microscopical methods, focusing on those species producing thick-walled sarcocysts. A total of 257 beef samples were obtained from different butcheries and supermarkets in Germany and processed by conventional and multiplex real-time PCR. In addition, 130 of these samples were processed by light microscopy and in 24.6 % thick-walled cysts were detected. Transmission electron microscopical analysis of six of these samples revealed an ultrastructural cyst wall pattern compatible with S. sinensis in five samples and with S. hominis in one sample. PCR-amplified 18S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) fragments of 28 individual thick-walled cysts were sequenced, and sequence identities of ≥98 % with S. sinensis (n = 22), S. hominis (n = 5) and S. hirsuta (n = 1) were observed. Moreover, nine Sarcocystis sp. 18S rDNA full length gene sequences were obtained, five of S. sinensis, three of S. hominis, and one of S. hirsuta. Out of all samples (n = 257), 174 (67.7 %) tested positive by conventional PCR and 179 (69.6 %) by multiplex real-time PCR for Sarcocystis spp. Regarding individual species, 134 (52 %), 95 (37 %), 17 (6.6 %), and 16 (6.2 %) were positive for S. cruzi, S. sinensis, S. hirsuta, and S. hominis, respectively. In conclusion, S. sinensis is the most prevalent thick-walled Sarcocystis species in beef offered for consumption in Germany. Further studies are needed to identify the final host of S. sinensis as well as the potential role of this protozoan as a differential diagnosis to the zoonotic species S. hominis.Parasitology Research 04/2014; · 2.33 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: SUMMARY Sarcocystis spp. represent apicomplexan parasites. They usually have a heteroxenous life cycle. Around 200 species have been described, affecting a wide range of animals worldwide, including reptiles. In recent years, large numbers of reptiles have been imported into Europe as pets and, as a consequence, animal welfare and species protection issues emerged. A sample of pooled feces from four confiscated green pythons (Morelia viridis) containing Sarcocystis spp. sporocysts was investigated. These snakes were imported for the pet trade and declared as being captive-bred. Full length 18S rRNA genes were amplified, cloned into plasmids and sequenced. Two different Sarcocystis spp. sequences were identified and registered as Sarcocystis sp. from M. viridis in GenBank. Both showed a 95-97% sequence identity with the 18S rRNA gene of Sarcocystis singaporensis. Phylogenetic analysis positioned these sequences together with other Sarcocystis spp. from snakes and rodents as definitive and intermediate hosts (IH), respectively. Sequence data and also the results of clinical and parasitological examinations suggest that the snakes were definitive hosts for Sarcocystis spp. that circulate in wild IH. Thus, it seems unlikely that the infected snakes had been legally bred. Our research shows that information on the infection of snakes with Sarcocystis spp. may be used to assess compliance with regulations on the trade with wildlife species.Parasitology 12/2013; · 2.36 Impact Factor