Atlas of livestock parasites
digitized collection of microscopical preparations

Atlas of Parasites Contents Information sources Glossary Administration

Sarcocystis spp.



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Protozoa (coccidia)     

A number of species infect dogs or cats, each with a specific   intermediate host.        

Distribution: Worldwide.   

Host: Small intestine of dogs and cats.          

Life Cycle: Cat and dog defnitive hosts are infected by ingesting intermediate host tissue containing sarcocysts. Sexual reproduction in dogs or cats leads to formation of oocysts that sporulate  while still in the intestinal tract.               

Diagnosis: Oocysts form within the gastrointestinal tract of dogs and cats. The oocyst wall breaks down in the gut, and small, ellipsoidal sporulated sporocysts are released in the feces.  They are detected by centrifugal or simple flotation techniques.            

Size: 7–22 × 3–15 µm    

Clinical features: Sarcocystis is generally nonpathogenic in the defnitive host, although some  species can cause severe disease in the intermediate host (cattle, sheep, pigs, horses).            


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