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J Parasitol. 1998 Jun;84(3):505-12.

Ultrastructure of the oocysts, sporocysts, and sporozoites of Toxoplasma gondii.

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Department of Veterinary Molecular Biology, Montana State University, Bozeman 59717-3610, USA.


Transmission and scanning electron microscopy were used to study the ultrastructure of the oocysts, sporocysts, and sporozoites of the VEG strain of Toxoplasma gondii and to compare the ultrastructure of sporozoites with tachyzoites (from the peritoneum of mice) and bradyzoites (from brain tissue cysts in mice). Oocysts were surrounded by a thin veil of finely reticulate material. The oocyst wall consisted of 3 layers and contained a previously unknown disc-shaped micropyle that appeared as a depression in the oocyst wall. The sporocyst contained 4 sporozoites and a residuum of lipid and amylopectin granules. The sporocyst wall was 3-layered with the innermost layer consisting of 4 curved plates held together at sutures by an interposed strip. Exposure to excysting fluid caused the interposed strip to separate from the curved plates, which curled inward releasing the sporozoites. Sporozoites had a posteriorly located nucleus and all the organelles typical for coccidian zoites. Sporozoites, tachyzoites, and bradyzoites had similar numbers of rhoptries but differed in the numbers and sizes of micronemes, dense granules, amylopectin granules, and lipid bodies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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