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Isolation and characterization of microsatellite markers from Sarcocystis neurona, a causative agent of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis


I. M. Asmundsson, Fax: +3015048979; E-mail:


The population genetics and systematics of coccidian parasites of the genus Sarcocystis remain poorly defined, notwithstanding their relevency to veterinary and human health. Despite opportunities for sexual recombination, nonrecombinant parasite clones characterized by distinct transmission and pathogenesis traits persist in related parasites (i.e. Toxoplasma gondii). In order to determine whether this may be generally true for parasitic coccidia, and to address evolutionary and taxonomic problems within the genus Sarcocystis, we isolated 12 polymorphic microsatellite markers (four to 14 alleles) for Sarcocystis neurona, the major causative agent of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM).