Hepatic sarcocystosis was diagnosed in a horse in association with refractory bacterial osteomyelitis and plasma cell tumor of the maxilla and hepatic salmonellosis. Gross lesions included pleural, pericardial, and peritoneal effusions, hepatomegaly, gastric ulceration, colonic edema, and proliferative tissues filling 2 maxillary dental alveoli. Histologically, liver was characterized by severe suppurative, necrotizing, periportal hepatitis, and severe periacinar necrosis. Hepatocytes frequently contained protozoal schizonts in various stages of development. In mature schizonts, merozoites were often arranged radially around a central residual body, consistent with asexual division by endopolygeny. Ultrastructural features of merozoites included an apical conoid and polar ring, anterior micronemes, central nuclei, and absence of rhoptries. These protozoa did not react to antisera raised against Neospora caninum, Sarcocystis neurona, Toxoplasma gondii, or Hammondia hammondi. The microscopic and ultrastructural characteristics and immunoreactivity of this organism are consistent with a Sarcocystis sp. other than S. neurona. This is the first report of Sarcocystis-associated hepatitis in a horse. The life cycle of this organism and source of infection are unknown.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)