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SUMMARYCryptosporidium parvum, belonging to the phylum Apicomplexa, is a major cause of waterborne gastroenteritis throughout the world. The sporozoites are thought to invade host enterocytes using an active process termed gliding motility. However, the biological and morphological changes within the sporozoites during this process are not fully understood. In the present study, excysted sporozoites of C. parvum were analysed ultrastructurally in vitro and their viability was evaluated using fluorescent dyes. The sporozoites excysted from oocysts changed morphologically from banana-shaped to rod-shaped and finally to a rounded shape, in culture media in 3 h. Transmission microscopy revealed that the distance between the apical end and the nucleus was markedly reduced, dense granules were present close to the rhoptry in the apical region, amylopectin granules were absent, and membranes of round sporozoites were less clear. A fluorescent assay showed that the rate of survival decreased from 89% to 56% at 0-3 h (84.3% for banana-shaped and 49.2% for rod-shaped sporozoites). Therefore, post-excysted sporozoites in vitro underwent morphological changes and a rapid loss of viability. This staining method is useful, inexpensive and provides an alternative to more costly and intensive flow cytometric assays or infectivity assays with host cells in vitro.
Department of Food and Nutrition, Osaka Yuhigaoka Gakuen Junior College, Osaka, Osaka 543-0073, Japan.
This article was published in the following journal.
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A species of parasitic protozoa that infects humans and most domestic mammals. Its oocysts measure five microns in diameter. These organisms exhibit alternating cycles of sexual and asexual reproduction.
Zygote-containing cysts of sporozoan protozoa. Further development in an oocyst produces small individual infective organisms called SPOROZOITES. Then, depending on the genus, the entire oocyst is called a sporocyst or the oocyst contains multiple sporocysts encapsulating the sporozoites.
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A family of parasitic organisms in the order EIMERIIDA. CRYPTOSPORIDIUM is the most important genus.
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