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Teacher has no idea what EPM is so could tell them anything and they would believe it Complete with references Very Informative Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis EPM Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis EPM is a disease among horses that damages the Central Nervous System CNS If not treated it can be deadly The protozoan Sarcocystis neurona infects the horse building colonies in the brain and along the spine Since it is a relatively new disease discoveries are occurring constantly in the research of the disease History The first cases of EPM in North America were recorded in the 1960s The disease was then known as focal or segmental myelitisencephalitis the case was unknown Judging from the literature EPM wasnt very common in those days In the 1970s the disease was described as equine protozoal myeloencephalitis for the first time but the actual protozoan parasite was not known It was incorrectly thought that the protozoan was Toxoplasma In the late 1970s and early 1980s evidence was found that led scientists to believe that the EPM-protozoa belonged to the Sarcocystis group In the late 1980s the causative organism of EPM was isolated in the laboratory and determined to be a previously-undescribed species of Sarcocystis it was named Sarcocystis neurona It was then possible to conduct some accurate testing for EPM Life-cycle The parasite S neurona depends on two separate hosts in order to complete its life-cycle - the opossum and wild birds The protozoa lives in the lining of the intestine of a carnivore It reproduces inside the intestine and gives off infective sporocysts in the feces or droppings of the carnivore Sarcocystis requires a specific carnivore host for reproduction To complete the its life-cycle the sporocysits must be eaten by another animal secondary host The sporocyst migrates to the skeletal muscles and can stay there for many years When the secondary host dies the
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