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Exp Parasitol. 2002 Mar;100(3):150-4.

Sarcocystis neurona: parasitemia in a severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) horse fed sporocysts.

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Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.


Sarcocystis neurona was isolated from the blood of a 5-month-old Arabian foal with severe combined immunodeficiency. The foal had been inoculated approximately 3 weeks previously with 5 x 10(5) sporocysts that were isolated from the intestines of an opossum and identified by restriction enzyme analysis of PCR products as S. neurona. The isolate obtained from the blood of this foal was characterized by genetic, serologic, and morphologic methods and identified as S. neurona (WSU1). This represents the first time that S. neurona has been isolated from any tissue after experimental infection of a horse. This is also the first time a parasitemia has been detected during either natural or experimental infection. The severe combined immunodeficiency foal model provides a unique opportunity to study the pathogenesis of S. neurona infection in horses and to determine the role of the immune system in the control of infection with and development of neurologic disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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