Molecular Identification and Frequency of Cyst-Forming Coccidia (Sarcocystis, Toxoplasma gondii, and Neospora caninum) in native slaughtered cattle in Kashan, Central Iran

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Medical Parasitology, Kashan University of Medical Sciences,

2 1Department of Medical Parasitology, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, 2Department of Parasitology, School of Medicine, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran.



Cattle is one of the main sources of food supply chain for humans in most countries. The present study aimed to identify the infection rates for Toxoplasma gondiiNeospora caninum, and Sarcocystis spp. by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method in native slaughtered cattle in Kashan, central Iran.
Materials and Methods: 
Totally, 159 diaphragm, esophagus, and muscle samples (53 samples of each) were collected from native beef cattle from Kashan slaughterhouse, central Iran. The genomic DNA was extracted, and PCR method was used separately for detection of N. caninum, Sarcocystis, and T. gondii species using specific primers.
Sarcocystis was found in 84.9% of muscles, 83% of esophagus, and 84.9% of diaphragm samples. Mixed infection (Sarcocystis cruzi–Sarcocystis hominis) was the most common infection, followed by S. cruzi and S. hominisSarcocystis hirsuta was not detected in any samples. T. gondii was detected only in three (5.7%) out of the 53 muscle tissues samples of cattleN. caninum was found in 18.9% of muscles, 24.5% of esophagus, and 28.3% of diaphragm samples. One of the cattle had coinfection to Neospora, Toxoplasma, and Sarcocystis in muscles simultaneously. There was no statistically significant difference between infection rates and age as well as sex in each organ.
This study revealed a low prevalence rate of T. gondii, but a high prevalence of infection to N. caninum and S. cruzi or mixed infection of S. cruzi with S. hominis among slaughtered cattle. Prevention measures such as keeping away dogs from cattle grazing are recommended.