Document Type : Research Article
Mohaghegh Ardabili University
Sarcocystosis is a common protozoan infection in humans and animals which is caused by various species of Sarcocystis. Hence, the aim of this study was to evaluate strains of Sarcocystis parasites in carcass of 250 cattle and 250 sheep slaughtered in the Ardabil Meat Industrial Group. Carcasses were compared by macroscopic and digestion techniques, staining and non-staining tissue smear and molecular PCR-RFLP. The organs examined were diaphragm, intervertebral muscles, esophagus, heart and tongue. The results were analyzed using Chi-square test. Out of 250 cattle and sheep examined, 28 and 124 cases had macroscopic cysts and 162 and 211 cases had microscopic cysts, respectively. Of 28 cases of macroscopic cysts in cattle, 21 cases of S. hominis and 7 cases of S. hirsuta were diagnosed. In 100% (162) of bovine specimens containing microscopic cysts, S. cruzi was diagnosed. In 100% of sheep samples containing macroscopic cysts, S. gigantea was diagnosed. In 211 sheep samples containing microscopic cysts, 156 cases of S. arieticanis and 55 cases of S. tenella were diagnosed. We concluded that the studied meat of the Ardebil Meat Industrial Group is highly infected with Sarcocystis parasite. Due to the health importance and infection rate of this parasite, it is recommended to avoid consumption of half-cooked and grilled meat from cattle and sheep.