2006 Volume 68 Issue 8 Pages 833-837
Hepatozoon sp. infections were detected in two species of Japanese wild cat, Iriomote wild cat (Felis iriomotensis) and Tsushima leopard cat (Felis bengalensis euptilura), between April 1993 and October 2005. The prevalence was 56.7% (17/30) and 14.3% (6/42), respectively. The most affected organ was the heart; all infected animals had organisms in their hearts. The parasitizing form was schizont and various developmental stages were observed. The size of schizont and merozoite was 22.3 ± 3.1 × 15.3 ± 2.2 μm and 6.1 ± 0.6 × 2.3 ± 0.2 μm, respectively. Few inflammatory reactions against the parasites were observed. Electron microscopically, organisms were located in parasitophorous vacuoles of unidentified host cells, and mature schizonts consisted of numerous merozoites. This is the first report of hepatozoonosis in Japanese felids.