Molecular Survey on Sarcocystis Species in Slaughtered Sheep in Hamedan, Iran
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Introduction: Sarcocystis is an apicomplexan heteroxenous protozoan leading to adverse consequences for production in sheep with remarkable importance in public health. The current study aimed to investigate molecular prevalence data on Sarcocystis spp. in slaughtered sheep using the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) method in Hamedan, Iran.
Methods and materials: The carcass of 60 sheep slaughtered in the Hamedan abattoir were sampled from May 2019 to June 2020. Heart, scapular, esophageal and diaphragmatic muscles were macroscopically examined and recorded as positive in case of the presence of tissue cyst. In this regard, 50 grams of each muscle was sliced and transferred to the laboratory on ice for microscopic and molecular analysis. The molecular identification of Sarcocystis spp. was performed using the PCR-RFLP method.
Results: By microscopy, all specimens contained bradyzoites in cysts. The molecular analysis further revealed Sarcocystis species, including Sarcocystis gigantea (S. gigantea), S. tenella, and S. arieticanis.
Conclusion: The present study emphasized that three Sarcocystis spp. were circulating among sheep and carnivorous hosts in the investigated area. Further molecular investigations are highly recommended to better evaluate the epidemiology of this zoonotic parasite.
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