An unidentified Sarcocystis falcatula-like infection was diagnosed in a captive bee-eater (Merops nubicus) in a zoo in Florida. The bird died suddenly, probably due to protozoa-associated pneumonia. Protozoal schizonts were found in lungs and heart, and immature sarcocysts were seen in skeletal muscles. Ultrastructurally, schizonts were located in capillary endothelium and merozoites lacked rhoptries, consistent with the structure of Sarcocystis species. Sarcocysts were immature, microscopic, and contained only metrocytes. The sarcocyst wall had finger-like villar protrusions that were up to 0.7 µm long and up to 0.2 µm wide. The villar protrusions lacked microtubules, characteristically seen in sarcocysts of S. falcatula. Antigenically, parasites in lungs and muscles of the bee-eater reacted with a varying intensity with polyclonal rabbit antisera to S. falcatula and Sarcocystis neurona. Results indicated that sarcocysts in the bee-eater were morphologically different from the reported structure for sarcocysts of other S. falcatula infections.
Acute Sarcocystis Falcatula-Like Infection in a Carmine Bee-Eater (Merops Nubicus) and Immunohistochemical Cross Reactivity Between Sarcocystis Falcatula and Sarcocystis Neurona
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J. P. Dubey, M. M. Garner, M. D. Stetter, A. E. Marsh, B. C. Barr; Acute Sarcocystis Falcatula-Like Infection in a Carmine Bee-Eater (Merops Nubicus) and Immunohistochemical Cross Reactivity Between Sarcocystis Falcatula and Sarcocystis Neurona. J Parasitol 1 August 2001; 87 (4): 824–832. doi: https://doi.org/10.1645/0022-3395(2001)087[0824:ASFLII]2.0.CO;2
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