Sporulated oocysts and free sporocysts of a Sarcocystis sp. were isolated from the feces of a southern copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix) collected in Arkansas (USA). Twenty sporocysts measured 11.2 by 8.5 μm, lacked a Stieda body, and had four sporozoites and a granular sporocyst residuum. Sarcocysts similar to those of Sarcocystis montanaensis were present in the tongues of prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) inoculated orally with 800 sporocysts 128 days previously. Sarcocysts were thin-walled, divided into compartments by septa, and had electron dense projections (0.14 μm) on the primary cyst wall. Infection was not pathogenic for prairie voles under the conditions of this study. No infections were observed in ICR strain laboratory mice (Mus musculus) or white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) following oral inoculation of 800 sporocysts.
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Vol. 27 • No. 1