Traditional Identification of Sarcocystis Spp. in Slaughtered Camels in Al-Najif Province, Iraq

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Ola A. Aggar
Mohammed T.S. Al-Zubaidi


Background: Sarcocystis is one of the most important intracellular protozoan parasites which infect many domestic animals, including camels as an intermediate host resulting to variable economic looses in particular in asymptomatic cases. Aim: This study was aimed for traditional detection of Sarcocystis spp. in tissue samples of slaughtered camels in Iraq. Materials and methods: Totally, 200 slaughtered camels (Camelus dromedarius) of different ages and sexes were selected from the abattoir of Al-Najaf province (Iraq) during October (2021) to July (2022). After slaughter, fresh tissue samples collected from different organs were subjected for macroscopic inspection and then for microscopic examination using of trichinoscopy, squeezing and acid pepsin digestion test. Results: Although, no positive samples were detected by macroscopic examination; the findings of microscopic examination reported that the infection rates with Sarcocystis spp. using the trichinoscopy, acid pepsin digestion method, and squeezing were 49%, 72.5% and 56%, respectively. Furthermore, the major risk factors related to the development of sarcocystosis in camels detected that the prevalence rate of Sarcocystis spp. was significantly higher in esophagus and diaphragm than skeletal muscle and heart; older aged (>4 years) than younger (£4 years) camels, and in females more than males. Conclusion: This study demonstrated the widespread prevalence of Sarcocystis spp. in slaughtered camels in Al-Najaf, Iraq. Considering the facts that the infection rate is massive, the impacts of Sarcocystis on musculoskeletal function, feeding, health, and productivity are necessary to study, especially its economical importance in the future. Also, the role of camel in transmission of the parasite between domestic animal and possibly to human requires to furthermore studying.

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