Three captive female nilgais (Boselaphus tragocamelus) either showed late-term abortion or their newborn calves died within 2 days of birth. Toxoplasma gondii DNA was demonstrated in the brain and liver of each fetus and in one of the two neonates by single-stage polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with TGR1E and by seminested PCR with B1 gene. Retrospectively, antibodies titers ≥640 to T. gondii by indirect fluorescence were found in the sera of all three female and one male nilgais. No other cause of abortion was detected. Fatal toxoplasmosis was also diagnosed in one captive, adult female saiga antelope (Saiga tatarica), which died suddenly. Toxoplasma gondii was detected in the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, and intestine. An unusual finding was the presence of numerous tissue cysts in the liver of this animal. Toxoplasmosis was confirmed by PCR with TGR1E and immunohistochemically. Toxoplasmic hepatitis and pneumonia were considered to be the primary causes of death.
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Vol. 35 • No. 4