BACKGROUND: Besnoitia besnoiti, the cause of bovine besnoitiosis, is a cyst-forming coccidian parasite that has recently been shown to be spreading in several Western and Southern European countries. FINDINGS: Clinical cases of bovine besnoitiosis were confirmed for the first time in Hungary, by histological, serological and PCR analyses. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report of autochthonous bovine besnoitiosis in Central-Eastern Europe. The emergence of bovine besnoitiosis in this region represents a further example, when human activity (i.e. cattle trading) is the main factor involved in the geographical spread of an infectious disease.