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  • Author or Editor: Zsuzsanna Vizi x
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In this study, faecal samples of four American Staffordshire terrier dogs (used for illegal fighting) were analysed by DNA extraction, molecular-phylogenetic and parasitological methods, in order to examine the occurrence of protozoan, apicomplexan parasites. In one sample, the DNA of Sarcocystis morae was shown to be present. This species was identified based on 100% identity with already reported sequences of S. morae from cervids in Lithuania and Spain. The result was also confirmed by phylogenetic analysis. The sporocysts of the canine S. morae isolate measured 14.95 × 9.75 μm on average. This is the first molecular evidence in support of the final host role of domestic dogs in the life cycle of S. morae. The most likely source of the infection was raw meat given to the examined dog to increase its physical achievement. In conclusion, under similar circumstances dogs may participate in the life cycle of S. morae in a ‘natural way’, shedding sporocysts/oocysts when used for hunting or taken to walks in forested areas.

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