First report of Sarcocystis halieti (Apicomplexa) in bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus)

This study published in Veterinary Research by our teammates, describes for the first time the bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) as a new intermediate host for a Sarcocystis species, Sarcocystis halieti, and adds new insights into the complex epidemiology of the genus involving avian species.

A short bio-sketch: Sarcocystis infection is a worldwide zoonosis with high prevalence in Southeast Asia. High Sarcocystis prevalence is explained by several conditions, including many definitive hosts such as lizards, birds and mammal species. Sporocysts are passed in faeces in the infective form and are not dependent on weather conditions for maturation. In addition, large numbers of sporocysts are shed for weeks or months and remain viable for several months in the environment. Oocysts and sporocysts are resistant to freezing but can be killed by drying or exposure to 56°C for 10 minutes.