Case Report

Encephalitozoon infection in a still-born foal

I. B.J. van Rensburg, D. H. Volkmann, J. T. Soley, C. G. Stewart
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 62, No 3 | a1610 | DOI: | © 2020 I. B.J. Van Rensburg, D. H. Volkmann, J. T. Soley, C. G. Stewart | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 September 2017 | Published: 30 September 1991

About the author(s)

I. B.J. van Rensburg, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa
D. H. Volkmann, Department of Theriogenology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
J. T. Soley, Department of Anatomy, University of Pretoria, South Africa
C. G. Stewart, Medical University of Southern Africa, Medunsa, South Africa

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A stud Clydesdale foal was still-born near full term. Macroscopic examination revealed a normal placenta, pulmonary atelectasis and faint white mottling of the kidneys. Microscopically there was severe lymphoplasmacytic interstitial nephritis. Numerous organisms resembling Encephalitozoon cuniculi were present in the affected kidneys. The organisms occurred in the areas of inflammation as well as in the renal glomeruli and intracellular cysts in the renal tubular epithelial cells and exhibited Gram positive staining. Ultrastructurally the organisms posessed a polar vacuole and a spiral filament typical of Microsporidia. The organisms were not detected in sections of the other organs examined.


Encephalitozoon cuniculi; microsporidia; abortion; still-birth; equine


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