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Sarcocystosis in South American camelids: The state of play revisited

Overview of attention for article published in Parasites & Vectors, March 2018
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Sarcocystosis in South American camelids: The state of play revisited
Published in
Parasites & Vectors, March 2018
DOI 10.1186/s13071-018-2748-1
Pubmed ID

Muhammad A. Saeed, Mohammed H. Rashid, Jane Vaughan, Abdul Jabbar


Members of the genus Sarcocystis (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae) are intracellular protozoan parasites that infect a wide range of domestic and wild animals, resulting in economic losses in production animals worldwide. Sarcocystis spp. have indirect life-cycles where canids and felids serve as main definitive hosts while a range of domestic and wild animals serve as intermediate hosts, including South American camelids (SACs) such as alpacas, llamas and guanacos. These animals primarily occur in South American countries on Andean, elevated plains but in recent years, alpacas and llamas have become emerging animal industries in other parts of the world such as Australia, Europe and the USA due to their high-quality fiber, meat and hides. For instance, alpaca meat is becoming popular in many parts of the world due to its lower cholesterol content than other red meat, thereby it has the potential of a valuable product for both local and international markets. However, SAC meat can be degraded and/or even condemned due to the presence of macroscopic sarcocysts in skeletal muscles, leading to significant economic losses to farmers. The infection is generally asymptomatic, though highly pathogenic or even fatal Sarcocystis infections have also been reported in alpacas and llamas. Despite the economic importance of sarcocystosis in SACs, little is known about the life-cycle of parasites involved, disease transmission, epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, control and public health significance. This review article provides an in-depth analysis of the existing knowledge on the taxonomy, epidemiology, clinicopathology and diagnosis of Sarcocystis in SACs, highlights knowledge gaps and proposes future areas of research that could contribute to our better understanding of sarcocystosis in these animals.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 32 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 32 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 5 16%
Student > Master 5 16%
Student > Bachelor 4 13%
Other 2 6%
Lecturer > Senior Lecturer 1 3%
Other 4 13%
Unknown 11 34%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Veterinary Science and Veterinary Medicine 6 19%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 6 19%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 3 9%
Medicine and Dentistry 2 6%
Environmental Science 1 3%
Other 3 9%
Unknown 11 34%