The effect of moist heat and several disinfectants on Sarcocystis neurona sporocysts was investigated. Sporocysts (4 million) were suspended in water and heated to 50, 55, 60, 65, and 70 C for various times and were then bioassayed in interferon gamma gene knockout (KO) mice. Sporocysts heated to 50 C for 60 min and 55 C for 5 min were infective to KO mice, whereas sporocysts heated to 55 C for 15 min and 60 C or more for 1 min were rendered noninfective to mice. Treatment with bleach (10, 20, and 100%), 2% chlorhexidine, 1% betadine, 5% o-benzyl-p-chlorophenol, 12.56% phenol, 6% benzyl ammonium chloride, and 10% formalin was not effective in killing sporocysts. Treatment with undiluted ammonium hydroxide (29.5% ammonia) for 1 hr killed sporocysts, but treatment with a 10-fold dilution (2.95% ammonia) for 6 hr did not kill sporocysts. These data indicate that heat treatment is the most effective means of killing S. neurona sporocysts in the horse feed or in the environment.
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