Pathological findings in genital organs of bulls naturally infected with Besnoitia besnoiti.

Grau-Roma, Llorenç; Martínez, Jorge; Esteban-Gil, Adriana; López, Javier; Marco, Alberto; Majó, Natàlia; Castillo, Juan Antonio; Domingo, Mariano (2020). Pathological findings in genital organs of bulls naturally infected with Besnoitia besnoiti. Parasitology research, 119(7), pp. 2257-2262. Springer-Verlag 10.1007/s00436-020-06695-3

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Bulls chronically affected by bovine besnoitiosis can suffer from sterility. There is limited information about the distribution of Besnoitia cysts and their associated lesions within the male genital organs. This work describes the gross and histological abnormalities in the genital organs of 6 bulls chronically infected with Besnoitia besnoiti, including both clinically (n = 4) and subclinically (n = 2) affected cases. Parasitic cysts were observed in the genital organs of all the clinically affected bulls. The tissue cysts were most commonly found within the pampiniform plexus (4/4), where they were often seen within venous vascular walls and associated with vasculitis, followed by epididymis (3/4), tunica albuginea (2/4), and penis (1/4). In decreasing order of their frequency, observed abnormalities included seminiferous tubule degeneration, testicular fibrosis, testicular necrosis, lack of/or diminished numbers of spermatozoa, testicular atrophy, and Leydig cell hyperplasia. Only one of the subclinically infected bulls had few Besnoitia cysts within the pampinoform plexus, which was associated to small areas of necrosis and mineralization in the ipsilateral testicle. Results indicate that Besnoitia cysts and genital abnormalities are frequent in bulls chronically affected by bovine besnoitiosis, while they are mild and scarce in subclinically affected ones. Moreover, present data show that Besnotia-associated testicular lesions can occur without the presence of cysts within the testicular parenchyma. B. besnoiti cysts seem to have a tropism for the vascular structures of the spermatic chord, which may cause testicular abnormalities via vascular damage, reduced blood flow, and/or impaired thermoregulation and subsequently lead to the observed testicular lesions.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Research Foci > Host-Pathogen Interaction
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Animal Pathology
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP)

UniBE Contributor:

Grau Roma, Llorenç


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture








Pamela Schumacher

Date Deposited:

08 Apr 2021 09:36

Last Modified:

28 May 2024 00:25

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Besnoitia besnoiti Bovine besnoitiosis Leydig cell hyperplasia Testicular atrophy Testicular necrosis




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