Sarcosporidiosis Treatment & Management

Updated: Apr 16, 2018
  • Author: Edward Charbek, MD, FCCP; Chief Editor: John L Brusch, MD, FACP  more...
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Treatment

Medical Care

No specific antiparasitic agent is indicated, as Sarcocystis infection in humans represents the fully formed terminal stage of the parasite. Corticosteroids can be used to reduce the inflammation associated with Sarcocystis muscular involvement. [5, 21]

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Surgical Care

As discussed above, excisional biopsy in the area of the painful muscle swelling is occasionally performed for diagnostic purposes but is not generally indicated. [2, 11]

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Consultations

If the history and physical examination findings suggest parasitic infection, consultation with an infectious disease specialist, specifically one familiar with tropical medicine, may be indicated.

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Diet

Sarcocysts have been detected in a large percentage of the world’s beef cows and, to a lesser extent, pigs, camels, sheep, horses, and other domesticated animals. [22, 23] Because of this, all associated meat products should be properly cooked before consumption. It is recommended that beef and pork be cooked at 100°C for 4 minutes or frozen to -4°C for 48 hours before consumption. Food suspected of being contaminated with feces or dirt should be avoided in all circumstances.

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Activity

Because sarcosporidiosis is usually found incidentally and the human host is typically asymptomatic, no activity restrictions apply, even in persons with confirmed infection. If the patient is experiencing significant myalgias, activity can be directed as tolerated, but no studies have shown that the level of activity affects morbidity or mortality in persons with sarcosporidiosis.

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Prevention

No vaccines are currently available for Sarcocystis infection. General hygiene and proper cooking of meat products remain the mainstays of prevention.

Boiling water when contamination with Sarcocystis is suspected provides disinfection. Chemical disinfection with chlorine does not provide adequate disinfection; however, filtering with a small-pore filter does. [24, 25]

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