Ultrastructural description of sarcocystis Sp. in cardiac muscle of naturally infected alpacas (vicugna pacos)

J. Raúl Lucas, Luis Manuel Barrios Arpi, Jose Luis Rodriguez Gutierrez, Stephanie Balcázar-Nakamatsu, Jacquelyne Zarria, Gislene Namiyama, Noelia Taniwaki, Omar Gonzales-Viera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Recently, it was proposed the name of Sarcocystis masoni n. sp. for the Sarcocystis that causes microcyst in skeletal muscle of South American camelids. However, there are no ultrastructural reports of microcysts of Sarcocystis in cardiac muscle of alpacas. This study reports ultrastructural features of microcysts of Sarcocystis sp. from cardiac muscle of naturally infected alpacas. Methods: Thirty alpacas (age range: three to five years) from the province of Junin, Peruvian Central Andes, were included in this study in January 2015. Cardiac muscle samples were evaluated by histology and transmission electron microscopy. Results: Bradyzoites in cysts had typical characteristics of Apicomplexa including organelles, a large nucleus, micronemes, dense bodies, and polysaccharide granules. Moreover, cysts had a thin wall with numerous, short, finger-like shapes with rounded tip protrusions (0.51 x 0.17 µm). Conclusion: Sarcocystis sp. from the heart and S. masoni n. sp. from the skeletal muscle have similar ultrastructural characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-179
Number of pages6
JournalIranian Journal of Parasitology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Dr. Barbara C. Shock and Catherine Deng for her editorial comments and suggestions. We did not possess any financial source or support of any kind.


  • Alpacas
  • Apicomplexa
  • Heart
  • Sarcocystis
  • Transmission electron microscopy

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