Incidental finding of sarcocystis spp in two glossectomy specimens for squamous cell carcinoma

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Incidental finding of sarcocystis spp in two glossectomy specimens for squamous cell carcinoma

Ajura A Jalil, Lau Shin Hin: Incidental finding of sarcocystis spp in two glossectomy specimens for squamous cell carcinoma. Mal. J. Oral Maxillofac. Surg. 2012; 10: 18–20.

Abstract: Sarcocystis species are intracellular protozoan parasites which require two- host life cycle based on a prey-predator host relationship. Sarcocystis spp form cysts in diverse intermediate hosts such as humans, horses, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, birds, rodents, wildlife, and reptiles. The cysts vary in size from a few micrometers to several centimeters, depending on the host and species. High prevalence of human skeletal muscle sarcocystosis was reported in south-east Asia particularly in Malaysia. Muscular sarcocystosis is transmitted through the oral-faecal route by ingestion of sporocysts via contaminated food or drink. Symptoms of muscular sarcocystosis include fever, persistent myalgia and episodic weakness. During the routine histopathological examination for glossectomy specimens for squamous cell carcinoma, incidental finding of two cases of sarcocystosis were found in two females. It was not known whether these two patients had symptoms of muscular sarcocystosis or prior ingestion of contaminated food and drink. Sarcocystis infection presents little health hazard to humans as the parasite is destroyed by cooking. However, many patients probably consume food or drink contaminated with the sporocysts unknowingly and then develops muscular sarcocystosis which may go undiagnosed as the infection may present only as mild symptoms.