Sarcocystis sp. schizonts were found in the cerebellum of a northern gannet (Morus bassanus), exhibiting neurologic signs, found on the Florida (USA) east coast. Based upon molecular characterization of DNA isolated from the brain of the gannet, this Sarcocystis sp. appeared to be closely related, if not identical, to an unnamed Sarcocystis sp. typified by isolates 1085 and 1086 collected from feces of a Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) on the east coast of Florida. Because the life cycle of this parasite appears to be land based, urban waste discharge to marine/estuarine environments may be a source of infection for marine species.
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Vol. 38 • No. 2