Ultrastructure of Sarcocystis bertrami sarcocysts from a naturally infected donkey (Equus asinus) from Egypt.

Dubey, J. P., E. Van Wilpe, S. K. Verma, and M. Hilali, "Ultrastructure of Sarcocystis bertrami sarcocysts from a naturally infected donkey (Equus asinus) from Egypt.", Parasitology, vol. 143, issue 1, pp. 18-23, 2016 Jan.


There is considerable confusion concerning Sarcocystis species in equids. Little is known of Sarcocystis infections in donkeys (Equus asinus). Here we describe the structure of Sarcocystis bertrami-like from the donkey by light microscopy (LM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Nineteen sarcocysts from the tongue of a donkey from Egypt were studied both by LM and TEM. By LM, all sarcocysts had variably shaped and sized projections on the sarcocyst walls, giving it a thin-walled to thick-walled appearance, depending on individual sarcocyst and plane of section. By TEM, sarcocysts walls had villar protrusions (vp) of type 11. The sarcocyst wall had conical to slender vp, up to 6 µm long and 1 µm wide; the vp were folded over the sarcocyst wall. The total thickness of the sarcocyst wall with ground substance layer (gs) was 1-3 µm. The vp had microtubules (mt) that originated deeper in the gs and continued up to the tip. The apical part of the vp had electron dense granules. The mt were configured into 3 types: a tuft of electron dense mt1 extending the entire length of the vp with a tuft of medium electron dense mt2 appearing in parallel, and fine mt3 present only in the villar tips. The gs was mainly smooth with few indistinct granules. All sarcocysts were mature and contained metrocytes and bradyzoites. Bradyzoites were approximately 11-15 × 2-3 µm in size with typical organelles.