The World of Sarcocystosis


What is Sarcocystosis?

Sarcocystosis is a parasitic disease caused by the organism Sarcocystis. These parasites are typically found in the tissues of birds, reptiles and mammals and have a two-host cycle. In humans, Sarcocystis can cause both intestinal and muscular infections. Though rare and usually asymptomatic in humans, sarcocystosis can cause death in cattle, pigs and sheep who have been highly infected. Recent studies, however, have shown that muscular sarcocystosis is a bigger problem than previously thought, especially in Southeast Asia. There are also differences morphologically between the sarcocysts found in various animals. Humans are typically infected by two species of sarcocystis, Sarcocystis suihominis and Sarcocystic bovihominis.

What are some synonyms for the disease?

Sarcocystosis is also known as sarcosporidiosis and "ricebreast" in ducks.

Kingdom Protista
Phylum Protozoa
Class Apicomplexa
Order Eucoccidia
Family Sarcocystidae
Genus Sarcocystis
Species Over 100


This ParaSite was made for Stanford University's Human Biology - Parasites and Pestilence class.All rights reserved.

Aliyya Haque , 2006,
Stanford University
Parasites & Pestilence: Infectious Public Health Challenges
Prof. D. Scott Smith,