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Development of Sarcocystis falcatula in cell cultures demonstrates that it is different from Sarcocystis neurona
The development of Sarcocystis falcatula merozoites in bovine turbinate (BT) cell cultures is described and compared with development of Sarcocystis neurona merozoites. Merozoites of S. falcatula entered BT cell cultures and increased in size until 3 days post-inoculation when the nucleus of some merozoites developed lobes. Developing schizonts present at 4 days contained a lobed nucleus or appeared multinucleate. A single mature schizont was observed 4 days p.i. Schizonts were numerous 5 and 6 days p.i. Merozoites were produced from blastophores on the schizont. S. neurona merozoites developed to mature schizonts by 3 days p.i. in BT cells and a residual body was often present. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that S. falcatula merozoites possessed more micronemes than did S. neurona merozoites. Our study demonstrates that S. falcatula and S. neurona are not the same parasite.