Parasitology Research

, Volume 114, Issue 12, pp 4397–4403 | Cite as

Sarcocystis mehlhorni, n. sp. (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae) from the black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus)

  • Rafael Calero-Bernal
  • Shiv K. Verma
  • Camila K. Cerqueira-Cézar
  • Laurence M. Schafer
  • Erna Van Wilpe
  • Jitender P. DubeyEmail author
Original Paper


Infection with Sarcocystis is common in many species of wild cervids but none is reported from the black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus). Here, we report Sarcocystis infection in two black-tailed deer from northwest USA for the first time. Sarcocysts were microscopic, up to 556 μm long and mature. The sarcocyst wall was up to 1.39 μm thick and had rectangular 1.17-μm-long villar protrusions, type 17, with thin (230 nm) electron dense ground substance layer. Molecular characterization and phylogenetic analysis indicated that Sarcocystis in the black-tailed deer is related to structurally distinct Sarcocystis species in cervids. A new name, Sarcocystis mehlhorni, is proposed for the Sarcocystis species in black-tailed deer.


Black-tailed deer Odocoileus hemionus columbianus Sarcocystis Ultrastructure Phylogeny 



The authors thank Mr. Efrain Pérez and Joseph Madary, Joint Pathology Center, Veterinary Services, US Army, Silver Spring, MD, USA, for the excellent technical help with electron microscopy.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg (outside the USA) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rafael Calero-Bernal
    • 1
  • Shiv K. Verma
    • 1
  • Camila K. Cerqueira-Cézar
    • 1
  • Laurence M. Schafer
    • 2
  • Erna Van Wilpe
    • 3
  • Jitender P. Dubey
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Agricultural Research CenterAnimal Parasitic Diseases LaboratoryBeltsvilleUSA
  2. 2.United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection ServiceWildlife ServicesOlympiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary ScienceUniversity of PretoriaOnderstepoortSouth Africa

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