5 years ago

A typical fatal sarcocystosis associated with Sarcocystis neurona in a White-nosed coati (Nasua narica molaris)

The protozoan parasite Sarcocystis neurona is an important cause of disease in horses (equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, EPM) and marine mammals. Isolated reports of clinical EPM-like disease have been documented in a zebra, raccoon, domestic cat, domestic dog, ferret, skunk, mink, lynx, red panda and fisher. The predominant disease is encephalomyelitis associated with schizonts in neural tissues. Here, we report highly disseminated sarcocystosis, in many tissues of a captive White-nosed coati (Nasua narica molaris). The 14year old, neutered male coati was euthanized due to progressive weakness, lethargy, and inappetence. Schizonts, including free and intracellular merozoites were detected in many cell types, and differed morphologically from S. neurona schizonts in horses. Only a few sarcocysts were seen in skeletal muscle and the myocardium. Immunohistochemically, the protozoa reacted positively to S. neurona but not to Toxoplasma gondii antibodies. Severe inflammtory disease detected in the stomach, intestine, adrenal and thyroid glands, ciliary body of eye, and urinary bladder associated with schizonts in the coati has not been reported earlier in any host with EPM. Although, a few schizonts were found in the brain, encephalitis was minimal and not the cause of clinical signs. Multilocus PCR-DNA sequencing using DNA derived from the coati lung tissue identified an S. neurona infection using the 18S, 28S and ITS-1 markers, and a novel genotype using primer pairs against antigenic surface proteins (SnSAG3, SnSAG4, SnSAG1-5-6) and microsatellite markers (MS, SN7, SN9). Although the genotype was similar to the widely distributed Type VI strain, it possessed a novel allele at SnSAG5, and a different MS combination of repeats at SN7 and SN9. Whether this severe parasitism was related to the host or the parasite needs further investigation.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0304401717304405

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