Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: STEM Research
Alexa C. Rosypal - Johnson C. Smith University
Co-Author(s): Richard O. Sawyer and David S. Lindsay, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathology, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA David Scott, Carolina Raptor Center, Huntersville, NC
The diversity of Sarcocystis spp infecting raptors is not well known. The intestinal tracts from 6 raptors (1 red-tailed hawk (RTH), 1 red-shouldered hawk (RSH), 1 Cooper’s hawk (CH), 1 screech owl (SO) and 2 barred owls (BO) a&b) were collected from terminally ill or patients that were euthanized because of they could not be rehabilitated and released at the Carolina Raptor Center. The intestinal samples were labeled and refrigerated until they were examined microscopically for parasites. Fluke eggs were seen in 3 raptors (RTH, RSH, & SO) while, capillarid eggs were seen in the RTH and spirurid eggs were seen in the RSH. Four (67%) of the 6 samples (RTH, RSH, CH & BOa) contained oocysts/sporocysts of Sarcocystis species. The intestines from the RTH, RSH, and CH were processed and sporocysts that each contained 4 sporozoites whose measurements were consistent with Sarcocystis spp. The BOa had very few sporocysts and none were collected. Infectivity of sporozoites obtained from excysted sporocysts was examined using African Green monkey kidney (CV-1) cell cultures. We have been successful in growing Sarcocystis from the CH and have observed schizonts and merozoites and kept the culture growing by sub-passage onto fresh CV-1 cells. Additionally, we have observed merozoites in cultures from the RTH and RSH but have not currently been able to generate sub-passaged cultures. We are currently collecting merozoites from the CH isolate to characterize by phylogenetic analysis using ITS and CO1 PCR primers that react with all Sarcocystis species.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): NSF HBCU-UP Research Initiation Award
Faculty Advisor: None Listed,