INTRODUCTION AND IMPORTANCE: The life cycle is facultatively heteroxenous. Cats are important as definitive hosts for this genus. Clinical disease is not associated with feline infections. Horses, domestic and wild ruminants, opossums, rodents and lizards are natural intermediate hosts. Large, often grossly visible, tissues cysts are found in connective tissue cells in intermediate hosts. Severe disease has been reported in ruminants and horses. Fibrocystis Hadwen, 1922 is a synonym of the genus and several authors have incorrectly refereed to the genus as Globidium which is a synonym for the genus Eimeria or Sarcocystis which is a separate valid genus. Besnoitiabesnoiti (Marotel, 1912) Henery, 1913, is the type species of this genus. Besnoitia species have a facultative heteroxenous life cycle and there are 6 named species (Dubey, 1993). Cats are the definitive host for 2 species and excrete Toxoplasma-like oocysts in their feces. One report (Peteshev et al., 1974) implicated cats as definitive hosts for B. besnoitia but no other studies have been able to confirm these findings (Dubey, 1993).
Dubey JP. 1993. Toxoplasma, Neospora, Sarcocystis, and other tissue cyst-forming coccidia of humans and animals. In Parasitic Protozoa, Vol. 6., J.P. Kreier and J.R. Baker (eds), Academic Press, Inc., San Diego, Calf. pp 1-158.
Peteshev VM, Galouzo IG, Polomoshnov AP. 1974. Koshki-definitivnye khozyaeva besnoitii (Besnoitiabesnoiti). Izvest Akad Nauk Kazakh SSR, Ser Biol 1:33-38