First report of Sarcocystis halieti (Apicomplexa) in bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus)

Petras Prakas, Josep Estruch, Roser Velarde, Mikas Ilgūnas, Donatas Šneideris, Olga Nicolás-Francisco, Ignasi Marco, Rafael Calero-Bernal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


At least three Sarcocystis species (S. falcatula, S. halieti and S. wobeseri–like) have been detected infecting raptorial birds. By histopathology and PCR-sequencing of the ITS1 marker, S. halieti was detected in a bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) and a black kite (Milvus migrans) from the Catalonia region in North Spain. The 241 bp-long sequences obtained from the Sarcocystis organisms detected in both raptors showed 97.5–99.6% and 97.9–100% similarity with those of previously identified S. halieti; also, the phylogenetic trees generated placed the identified sequences together with other sequences of S. halieti available in GenBank. In sum, the description of the bearded vulture as a new intermediate host for S. halieti adds new insights on the complex epidemiology of the genus involving avian hosts.

Original languageEnglish
JournalVeterinary Research Communications
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2023


  • Apicomplexa
  • ITS1
  • Phylogeny
  • Raptorial birds
  • Sarcocystis


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