Besnoitia darlingi infection in a Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana)

Shannon Shaw, Britton Grasperge, Javier Nevarez, Scott Reed, Lauren Long, Nathalie Rademacher, David Guzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This is a case report of natural infection with Besnoitia darlingi in a Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) in Louisiana. Clinical pathologic data included a severe nonregenerative anemia, inflammatory leukogram, increased hepatocellular leakage enzymes, renal azotemia, hyperkalemia, hypoglycemia, hypoalbuminemia, and proteinuria. Tissue cysts containing bradyzoites were found in the majority of organs, especially the skin, mucous membranes, kidneys, adrenals, lungs, and heart. Images of the bradyzoites obtained by transmission electron microscopy were consistent with the previously described ultrastructure of Besnoitia darlingi. This opossum also suffered from an open phalangeal fracture and concurrent gastrointestinal parasites. Histopathologic findings included a glomerulonephritis and hepatic necrosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-223
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Besnoitia darlingi
  • Didelphis virginiana
  • Parasite
  • Virginia opossum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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