Encyclopedia of Parasitology

2016 Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn


  • Heinz MehlhornEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-43978-4_2792


Greek: sarx = meat, flesh; kystos = cyst, sporos = seed, capsule.

This term describes a genus of the protozoan group Apicomplexa (Sporozoa), which are now systematically included in the  Alveolata.

In the year 1843, Miescher observed, for the first time, cysts containing large numbers of banana-shaped protozoa within the muscles of mice. Until 1882, these cysts were termed Miescher’s tubes ( 1843), Rainey’s bodies, or psorosperms (Lindemann 1863; Ratzel 1868; Rivolta 1878). Because of the typical localization of the cysts within the muscles, Balbiani ( 1882) proposed the name Sarcosporidia. Today, such cysts have been seen in reptiles, birds, and many groups of mammals including man, monkey, and whale, such indicating a broad host range and worldwide distribution (Mehlhorn and Heydorn 1978a). The position of the Sarcosporidia within the Zoological system remained doubtful for long, since their life cycles were unknown. Electron microscopy of the cyst stages and comparison with...
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Balbiani G (1882) Les Sporozoaires. J Microgr Paris 6:80–89Google Scholar
  2. Frenkel JK et al (1970) Toxoplasma gondii: fecal stages identified as coccidian oocysts. Science 176:893–896CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Heydorn AO, Rommel M (1972a) Beiträge zum Lebenszyklus der Sarkosporidien. II. Hund und Katze als Überträger der Sarkosporidien des Rindes. Berl Münch Tierärztl Wochenschr 85:121–123PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Heydorn AO, Rommel M (1972b) Beiträge zum Lebenszyklus der Sarkosporidien. IV. Entwicklungsstadien von S. fusiformis in der Dünndarmschleimhaut der Katze. Berl Münch Tierärztl Wochenschr 85:333–336PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Lindemann C (1863) Psorospermes chez l’homme. Bull Soc Imp Nat Mosc 36:425–436Google Scholar
  6. Mehlhorn H, Heydorn AO (1978a) The Sarcosporidia: fine structure and life cycle. Adv Parasitol 16:43–92PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Mehlhorn H, Heydorn AO (1978b) Light and electron microscopic studies on Sarcocystis suihominis. III. The gamogony in human tissue cells. Parasitol Res 58:97–113Google Scholar
  8. Mehlhorn H, Scholtyseck E (1973) Elektronenmikroskopische Untersuchungen an Cystenstadien von Sarcocystis tenella aus der Oesophagus-Muskulatur des Schafes. Zentralbl Bakteriol Parasitenkd Infektionskr Hyg I Abt A 41:291–310Google Scholar
  9. Mehlhorn H et al (1974) Transmission de Sarcocystis tenella, chez le chat, à partir des formes kystiques parasites intramusculaires du mouton, les oocystes et sporocystes. C R Acad Sci Paris Ser D 58:1111–1114Google Scholar
  10. Miescher F (1843) Über eigenthümliche Schläuche in den Muskeln einer Hausmaus. Ber Verh Naturforsch Ges Basel 5:198–202Google Scholar
  11. Overdulve JP (1970) The identity of Toxoplasma gondii with Isospora. Proc K Ned Akad Wet 73:130–151Google Scholar
  12. Piekarski G, Witte HM (1970) Der Erreger der Toxoplasmose – ein spezifischer Katzenparasit. Umschau 11:342–343Google Scholar
  13. Ratzel F (1868) Beschreibung einiger neuer Parasiten. 4. Psorospermien in Affenmuskeln. Arch Naturgesch Berl 34:150–156Google Scholar
  14. Rivolta S (1878) Della grigarinosi dei polli e dell’ ordinamento delle gregarine e dei psorospermi degli animali domestici. Lomb G Anat Fisiol Patol Anim 10:220–260Google Scholar
  15. Rommel M, Heydorn AO (1972) Beiträge zum Lebenszyklus de Sarkosporidien. III. Isospora hominis (Railliet et Lucet 1892) Wenyon 1923, eine Dauerform der Sarkosporidien des Rindes und des Schweines. Berl Münch Tierärztl Wochenschr 85:143–145PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Rommel M et al (1972) Beiträge zum Lebenszyklus de Sarkosporidien. I. Die Sporocyste von S. tenella in den Fäzes der Katze. Berl Münch Tierärztl Wochenschr 85:101–105PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Sénaud J (1967) Contribution à l’étude des sarcosporidies et toxoplasmes. Protistologica 3:167–232Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für ZoomorphologieZellbiologie und Parasitologie, Heinrich-Heine-UniversitätDüsseldorfGermany