Sarcocysts of Sarcocystis rommeli were found for the first time in 6 of 34 (17.6%) cattle (Bos taurus) in China. With light microscopy, sarcocysts of S. rommeli were up to 1,130 μm long, with a striated, 4–8-μm-thick cyst wall. Using transmission electron microscopy, the villar protrusions (vp) were 4.7–5.2 × 0.2–0.3 μm, and 0.3–0.5 μm apart from each other. The vp contained microtubules extending from the top of the vp to the middle of the ground substance layer (gsl). A BLAST search of the near full-length 18S rRNA and partial mitochondrial cox1 sequences of S. rommeli revealed 98.7% identity and 99.2% identity with sequences of Sarcocystis bovini in GenBank, respectively. Two domestic cats (Felis catus) fed sarcocysts of S. rommeli shed oocysts/sporocysts in their feces with a prepatent period of 14 to 15 days; the partial mitochondrial cox1 sequences of these oocysts/sporocysts shared the high identities, that is, 99.4% and 99.5%, with cox1 sequences of S. rommeli sarcocysts and S. bovini sarcocysts, respectively. This is the first demonstration of a definitive host for S. rommeli.
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Vol. 103 • No. 5