Sarcocystis neurona-like encephalitis in a Canada lynx (Felis lynx canadensis)

Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853-6401, USA.
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine (Impact Factor: 0.42). 10/2000; 31(3):383-7.
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) associated with the apicomplexan, Sarcocystis neurona, is a major cause of neurological disease in horses (Dubey et al., 2001a). S. neurona is transmitted via the fecal oral route from opossums, the only known definitive host, to an unusually wide array of intermediate hosts including raccoons, armadillos, cats, marine mammals, skunks and brown-headed cowbirds (Forest et al., 2000; Dubey et al., 2006; Mansfield et al., 2008). S. neurona infection in association with EPM-like disease has been reported in a diverse range of other wild and domestic mammals, including Pacific harbor seals, sea otters, a Canada lynx, mink, domestic cats and dogs, raccoons, striped skunks, and a fisher (reviewed in Dubey et al., 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Naturally occurring Sarcocystis neurona infection in a ferret (Mustela putorius furo) with rhinitis and disseminated disease are described for the first time. The ferret exhibited severe rhinitis with intra-lesional S. neurona merozoites and schizonts. Diagnosis was confirmed immunohistochemically by staining with S. neurona-specific antibodies, and by phylogenetic analyses of conserved and variable portions of nuclear ribosomal DNA. On the basis of intense schizogony in the nasal mucosa, we propose the possibility of an olfactory nerve pathway route of infection for S. neurona meningoencephalitis.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2010 · Veterinary Parasitology
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    • "In intermediate hosts, only asexual stages are found and they are confined primarily to the central nervous system (CNS). S. neurona causes a fatal neurologic disease in horses (equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, EPM) and EPMlike infections have been reported in raccoons, domestic cats, a Canadian lynx, mink, skunks, a pony, a zebra, a fisher, Pacific harbor seals, and sea otters (Dubey et al., 2001b, 2002, 2003a; Forest et al., 2001; Gerhold et al., 2005). S. neurona-like infection was reported in a monkey (Klumpp et al., 1994) but the identification was not confirmed by S. neurona immunohistochemistry (Dubey and Hamir, 2000). "
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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.
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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.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2003 · Veterinary Parasitology
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