Four of five reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) obtained from a Besnoitia sp.-infected herd at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, in October 1989, had evidence of mild dermatitis over the articular surfaces of carpal and tarsal joints. Cysts of Besnoitia sp., either surrounded by inflammatory reactions or without evident host response, were present within the dermis, submucosa of the nasal turbinates, periosteum, tendons, testes and hooves. The light microscopic and histochemical features of Besnoitia sp. from reindeer were indistinguishable from those of other Besnoitia spp. described in cattle, rodents and horses.The Besnoitia sp. cysts and organisms from reindeer were unique in that bradyzoite membrane micropores and cytoplasmic enigmatic bodies were not observed. Two cats were fed cysts of Besnoitia sp. but no oocysts were detected in feces for 90 days post-infection.
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Vol. 31 • No. 3