The data obtained from a survey of Mycobacterium bovis infection in wild red deer (Cervus elaphus) and wild boar (Sus scrofa) conducted in France in the 2005/06 hunting season were used to describe and quantify the pathological findings in the two species. The red deer had caseous abscessed lesions in their organs and lymph nodes, whereas in the wild boar the lesions were predominantly caseocalcareous and occurred mainly in the lymph nodes. The severity of the gross tuberculosis-like lesions was estimated on the basis of a numerical score. The significant difference between the distribution of the scores in the two species indicated that the disease was more serious in the red deer than in the wild boar. Unlike the red deer, the wild boar did not show a generalised pattern of disease. Among the lymph nodes examined systematically, gross lesions were most frequently observed in the mesenteric lymph nodes in the red deer and in the retropharyngeal lymph nodes in the wild boar. In both species, the presence of gross lesions showed the closest agreement with the isolation of M bovis from the same lymph nodes. The different patterns of the lesions of tuberculosis in the two species suggest that red deer might play an important role in the intraspecies and interspecies dissemination of the infection, whereas in wild boar the spread of the infection would be more likely to be restricted to other wild boar.