Sarcocystis camelicanis increases interleukin (IL)-6 expression in one-humped camels (Camelus dromedarius) from Riyadh and Al Qassim, Saudi Arabia.(2021)

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Sarcocystis spp. are intracellular protozoan parasites with an intermediate-definitive host life cycle based on a prey–predator relationship. Sarcocystis infection is common among different vertebrates including humans. The pathogenicity of Sarcocystis spp. is of varied significance including a possible lethal effect for the host. The goal of the present study was to investigate the inflammatory activity of Sarcocystis spp. in different organs of naturally infected camels. The tongue, esophagus, heart, diaphragm, and skeletal muscles were collected from 50 camels, and the tissues assessed for the presence of Sarcocystis spp. by macroscopic examination, light microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Moreover, expression of the interleukin (IL)-6 was analyzed using reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Microscopic Sarcocystis spp. cysts were found in camels. TEM identified the cysts as Sarcocystis camelicanis (S. camelicanis). Sarcocystis infection increased inflammation by stimulation of IL-6 expression in different organs of the camels, particularly in those from the Al-Qassim region.