Volume 19, Number 12—December 2013
Etymologia: Sarcocystis nesbitti
Sarcocystis nesbitti [sahrʺko-sisʹtis nez-bitʹē]
In 1843, Swiss scientist Friedrich Miescher found “milky white threads” in the muscles of a mouse, which for years were known as“Miescher’s tubules.” In 1882, Lankester named the parasite Sarcocystis, from the Greek sarx (flesh) and kystis (bladder). Scientists were unsure whether to classify the species as protozoa or as fungi because only the sarcocyst stage had been identified. In 1967, crescent-shaped structures typically found in protozoa were seen in sarcocyst cultures, and it was determined to be a protozoan, a close relative of Toxoplasma spp. In 1969, A. M. Mandour described a new species of Sarcocystis in rhesus macaques, which he named Sarcocystis nesbitti, after Mr. P. Nesbitt, who saw the trophozoites in stained smears. Snakes are now known to be the definitive hosts of S. nesbitti, and several primates, including humans, can be intermediate hosts.
- Dubey JP, Speer CA, Fayer R. Sarcocystosis of animals and man. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press, Inc; 1989.
- Fayer R. Sarcocystis spp. in human infections. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2004;17:894–902 .
- Lau YL, Chang PY, Subramaniam V, Ng YH, Mahmud R, Ahmad AF, Genetic assemblage of Sarcocystis spp. in Malaysian snakes. Parasit Vectors. 2013;6:257.
- Mandour AM. Sarcocystis nesbitti n. sp. from the rhesus monkey. J Protozool. 1969;16:353–4 and.
Suggested citation for this article: Etymologia: Sarcocystis nesbitti. Emerg Infect Dis [Internet]. 2012 Dec [date cited]. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid1912.AC-1912
- Page created: November 19, 2013
- Page last updated: November 19, 2013
- Page last reviewed: November 19, 2013
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID)
Office of the Director (OD)