Investigations of the epidemiological and clinicopathological significance of Sarcocystis-infection among cattle and buffalo in Hungary
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Sarcocystis species are unicellular parasites that belong to cystogenic coccidia (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae). During their life cycle they require both an intermediate and a final host, the former usually an herbivorous and the latter a carnivorous vertebrate animal. Cattle are long-known intermediate hosts of S. cruzi, S. hirsuta and S. hominis, with canids, felids and humans as final hosts, respectively. In addition, S. sinensis has been reported from cattle in a number of countries (including Germany), but its final host remains to be elucidated and the species name has recently been rendered nomen nudum. Among bovine Sarcocystis spp. S. hominis has public health importance, as it is able to cause gastrointestinal malaise in primates as final hosts; but "S. sinensis" may also elicit symptoms in humans and therefore can be regarded as potentially zoonotic. On the other hand, while S. cruzi is among those Sarcocystis spp. that may be highly pathogenic to the intermediate host, the current clinicopathological importance and prevalence of its infection is not known in Hungary, neither in the whole Central-Eastern European region. Therefore the aim of the present study was to compensate for the lack of relevant data.