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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Integrated Approach to the Detection and Control of Foodborne Parasites and the Impact on Food Safety

Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases

Title: Identity of Sarcocystis species of the water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) and cattle (Bos taurus) and the suppression of Sarcocystis sinensis as a nomen nudum

item Calero-Bernal, Rafael -
item Uggla, Arvid -

Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 13, 2014
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Sarcocystis and Toxoplasma are closely related, single celled parasites that share common hosts. Some species of Sarcocystis are zoonotic and of public health concerns. Recently, human volunteers who ate raw buffalo meat became sick. Cattle and buffaloes harbor multiple species of Sarcocystis, but there is considerable confusion concerning the identity of some of these species. In the present report, scientists from ARS, in collaboration with scientist from Sweden, redefine Sarcocystis species in cattle and water buffalo for better communication in the future. The results will be of interest to biologists and parasitologists.

Technical Abstract: There are uncertainties concerning the identity and host species specificity of Sarcocystis species of the water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) and cattle (Bos taurus). Currently, in cattle three species are recognized with known endogenous stages, viz.: S. cruzi (with canine definitive host), S. hirsuta (feline definitive host), and S. hominis (primate definitive host). Recently, a fourth Sarcocystis species with an unknown life cycle has been reported from cattle. In the water buffalo, four species of Sarcocystis have been described: S. fusiformis (feline definitive host), S. buffalonis (feline definitive host), S. levinei (canine definitive host), and S. dubeyi (definitive host unknown but not cat or dog). Besides, there are studies of Sarcocystis infections in buffalo and cattle from China with results that are difficult to interpret and validate. For example, some of the studies report transmission of Sarcocystis species between cattle and buffalo, but the evidence is not convincing. A new species of the water buffalo, S. sinensis was reported at a Chinese national conference in 1990, and published as an abstract without figures and with no archived type specimens for verification. The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature Articles 9 and 10 state that materials issued primarily to participants at meetings (e.g. symposia, colloquia, congresses, or workshops) including abstracts and texts of presentations or poster) does not constitute publishedwork, therefore S. sinensis is a nomen nudum.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
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