Sarcosporidiosis Clinical Presentation

Updated: Apr 16, 2018
  • Author: Edward Charbek, MD, FCCP; Chief Editor: John L Brusch, MD, FACP  more...
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Since most cases of sarcosporidiosis have been documented in Southeast Asia, a travel history and detailed history of recent dietary practices may be of benefit. [10]

Symptoms caused by the myositic form of sarcosporidiosis occasionally include painful muscle swellings accompanied by erythema, muscle tenderness, generalized muscle weakness, and fever. Cardiac involvement is almost always asymptomatic, but sarcosporidiosis has been known to cause second-degree atrioventricular block in sheep. [11]

Within a day after ingestion of contaminated beef or pork, individuals who develop the enteritis form of sarcosporidiosis may experience diaphoresis, chills, fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. [12]

Common Sarcocystis species found in raw kibbe (Middle Eastern dish of lamb and seasonings, eaten cooked or raw) include Sarcocystis hominis, Sarcocystis hirsuta, and Sarcocystis cruzi. [13]



In muscle involvement, painful nodular swelling (1-3 cm in diameter) with erythema and tenderness usually occurs following disintegration of the cysts. On occasion, these nodular lesions are accompanied by fever, diffuse myalgias, weakness, and bronchospasm. [14] This form of infection is extremely rare and has been described in fewer than 100 human cases. This may support the hypothesis that humans are accidental intermediate hosts. [1]

Persons who ingest the oocyst may develop clinically apparent dehydration after acute diarrhea and diffuse abdominal tenderness.



Humans become infected with intestinal sarcocystosis after eating infected meat. People who ingest undercooked beef or pork are at increased risk of infection. Individuals who practice poor hand hygiene, thus exposing themselves to fecal-oral transmission, are also at an increased risk of acquiring intestinal sarcocystosis.