This study describes the sequential formation of lesions associated with the endogenous development of Sarcocystis rauschorum (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae) in varying lemmings, Dicrostonyx richardsoni. Lethal doses of sporocysts (>500) were orally administered to lemmings examined 1–6 days postinoculation (DPI) whereas sublethal doses were administered to lemmings examined subsequently. Transient necrosis and purulent inflammation, in association with precystic merogony, occurred in the liver by 4.5 DPI, peaked at 6 DPI and subsided beginning at 11 DPI with the liver returning to normal by 15 DPI. Cyst formation in skeletal and cardiac muscle was associated with purulent inflammation and sarcolemmal proliferation beginning at 9 DPI. These lesions persisted to 42 DPI. In addition, multifocal nonsuppurative meningoencephalitis was present in six of 11 infected lemmings examined between 11 and 15 DPI.
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Vol. 23 • No. 4