Besnoitia besnoiti infection in cattle and mice: ultrastructural pathology in acute and chronic besnoitiosis

Langenmayer, M.C.; Gollnick, M.S.; Scharr, J.C.; Schares, Gereon GND; Herrmann, Daland GND; Majzoub-Altweck, M.; Hermanns, W.

Current knowledge on bovine besnoitiosis, caused by the emerging apicomplexan pathogen Besnoitia besnoiti, is still fragmentary. So far, studies dealing with ultrastructural pathology focused mainly on the easily accessible chronic stage, whereas ultrastructural investigations of tachyzoites were confined to in vitro studies. In the study presented here, the ultrastructural pathology of naturally B. besnoiti-infected cattle in the acute and chronic disease stages and experimentally B. besnoiti-infected mice was monitored. Further, the ultrastructure of tachyzoites and bradyzoites was investigated. Skin samples of two adult Limousin cows and one adult Limousin bull naturally infected with B. besnoiti and liver and skin samples of gamma-interferon knockout mice infected with B. besnoiti were examined in semithin sections stained with toluidine blue and safranin and in ultrathin sections contrasted with uranyl acetate and lead citrate. Samples of vessel walls of the bull and nasal mucosa of one cow were examined by scanning electron microscopy. Few tachyzoites-like endozoites were detected for the first time in bovine skin, and large numbers of tachyzoites were detected in murine skin and liver. Within tissue cysts in bovine skin, numerous bradyzoites were observed displaying signs of degeneration. Tachyzoites had apicomplexan endozoite ultrastructure. B. besnoiti tachyzoites and bradyzoites differed in shape and the number of amylopectin granules. Transmission and scanning electron microscopy confirmed the presence of two different cyst wall layers, and the present results on cyst wall ultrastructure were in accordance with those previously obtained by histological sections.

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Langenmayer, M.C. / Gollnick, M.S. / Scharr, J.C. / et al: Besnoitia besnoiti infection in cattle and mice: ultrastructural pathology in acute and chronic besnoitiosis. 2015.

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