Bovine cells from cattle infected with Theileria annulata were phenotyped with monoclonal antibodies recognizing bovine leukocyte antigens. Macroschizont-infected, transformed cell lines prepared from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of cattle, infected with sporozoites, were assessed by flow cytometry; parasitized cells in tissues from infected cattle were examined by immunocytochemical techniques. Co-expression of markers for different cell lineages by the cell lines precluded a definite conclusion as to their phenotypic origins. For, while the pattern of leukocyte antigens expressed by these in vivo-derived schizont-infected cells, which included CD11b, was indicative of a myeloid origin, the possibility that they were NK cells could not be excluded. The monoclonal antibody (MAb) IL-A15, which recognizes CD11b, reacted with a high proportion of parasitized cells in sections of tissues from infected cattle at all stages of acute disease. Mononuclear cells infected with parasites at all stages of differentiation, from macroschizont to microschizont, expressed CD11b. Such parasitized cells occurred throughout the lymphoid tissues, being found in the thymus, spleen and lymph nodes, particularly the prescapular node draining the site of infection, the hepatic, mesenteric and precrural nodes, as well as in the reticulo-endothelial tissue of the liver, kidney, lung, abomasum, adrenal and pituitary glands. These observations provided the first evidence for a myeloid origin for the parasitized T. annulata cells found in infected bovine tissues and blood and suggested a mechanism whereby schizonts could transfer from cell to cell during mechanical infection with schizont-infected cells.