Unlike most species in the genus Sarcocystis, Sarcocystis canis has a broad intermediate host range. Its life cycle is incompletely known and most reports are from the USA. Here we report fatal hepatitis in a 4 year old male Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) from Hong Kong associated with a S. canis-like infection. Diagnosis was made based on clinical presentation, histopathology, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and molecular characterization. Microscopically, S. canis-like like infection was confined to the liver. Immature and mature schizonts were found in hepatocytes and the parasite was associated with generalized hepatic necrosis. By TEM, schizonts divided by endopolygeny, and merozoites lacked rhoptries. Molecular characterization of parasites present in liver and brain tissues at the cox1 gene showed a high degree of identity (97–98%) and clustered together with Sarcocystis canis, S. lutrae, S. arctica, S. speeri, S. turdusi, and S. rileyi in a phylogenetic study. This is the first report of S. canis-like infection from Asia.

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doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2017.01.001, hdl.handle.net/1765/95686
Veterinary Parasitology
Department of Virology

Calero-Bernal, R., Mauroo, N.F., Hui, S.W., Kuiken, T., van de Bildt, M., de Jong, A.W., … Dubey, J.P. (2017). Acute fatal sarcocystosis hepatitis in an Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) in Hong Kong. Veterinary Parasitology, 235, 64–68. doi:10.1016/j.vetpar.2017.01.001