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1 August 2000 PREVALENCE OF SARCOCYSTIS SPECIES SPOROCYSTS IN WILD-CAUGHT OPOSSUMS (DIDELPHIS VIRGINIANA)
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Abstract

Sarcocystis sporocysts were found in intestinal scrapings from 24 (54.5%) of 44 opossums (Didelphis virginiana). The number of sporocysts varied from a few (<10,000) to 245 million. Sporocysts from 23 of 24 opossums were fed to captive budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatas), and the inocula from 21 opossums were infective, indicating the presence of Sarcocystis falcatula. Sporocysts from 24 opossums were fed to gamma-interferon-knockout (KO) or nude mice; inocula from 14 opossums were infective to mice. Sarcocystis neurona was detected in tissues of KO mice by specific staining with anti-S. neurona antibodies, and the parasite was cultured in vitro from the brains of KO mice fed sporocysts from 8 opossums. Sarcocystis speeri was identified by specific staining with anti-S. speeri antibodies in tissues of KO mice fed inocula from 8 opossums; 3 opossums had mixed S. neurona and S. speeri infections. Thus, the prevalences of sporocysts of different species of Sarcocystis in opossums were: S. falcatula 21 of 44 (47.7%), S. neurona 8 of 44 (18.1%), and S. speeri 8 of 44 (18.1%) opossums. Sarcocystis neurona alone was found in 1 opossum, and S. speeri alone was found in 1 opossum. Mixed Sarcocystis infections were present in 21 opossums.

J. P. Dubey "PREVALENCE OF SARCOCYSTIS SPECIES SPOROCYSTS IN WILD-CAUGHT OPOSSUMS (DIDELPHIS VIRGINIANA)," Journal of Parasitology 86(4), (1 August 2000). https://doi.org/10.1645/0022-3395(2000)086[0705:POSSSI]2.0.CO;2
Received: 15 September 1999; Accepted: 1 November 1999; Published: 1 August 2000
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