Four littermate 6-wk-old red foxes (Nos. 1–4) were fed Toxoplasma gondii, Sarcocystis cruzi, S. tenella and S. capracanis. One littermate fox (No. 5) served as the control. Two foxes (Nos. 1,2) were fed tissue cysts of T. gondii and two foxes (Nos. 3. 4) were fed oocysts of T. gondii. Twenty-one to 42 days later, the same five foxes were used to test the infectivity of meat of goat, sheep, and ox experimentally inoculated with Sarcocystis. Fox 2 was fed goat meat and shed S. capracanis-like sporocysts 10 days later. Foxes 3 and 4 were fed beef, and they shed S. cruzi-like sporocysts 9 days later. Fox 5 was fed sheep meat and shed S. tenella-like sporocysts 8 days later. Foxes were killed between 36 and 55 days of the experiment and their tissues were inoculated into mice to recover T. gondii. All foxes remained clinically normal and T. gondii was recovered from all inoculated foxes and not from the control. Sarcocystis sporocysts from foxes induced lethal infections in goats, sheep, and ox. The sporocysts. meronts, merozoites, and sarcocysts of fox-derived parasites were similar to those derived from coyotes or dogs. It was concluded that the red fox can act as a final host for the three pathogenic species of Sarcocystis in cattle, sheep, and goats.
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