Submitted to: Texas Society for Electron Microscopy Journal
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/26/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Reproduction by the hemoprotozoan parasite Babesia generally has been noted to result in the creation of two paired parasites (merozoites) within parasitized erythrocytes of domestic animals. However, recent isolates of Babesia from North American wild ruminants have been noted to produce multiple parasites within a single erythrocyte when cultured in vitro. This observation indicates that reproduction for these isolates may differ from methods previously described for Babesia spp. of domestic animals. Accordingly, transmission electron microscopy was used to study the intra-erythrocytic reproduction of cultured Babesia isolated from bighorn sheep, elk, caribou, and white-tailed deer. Intra-erythrocytic reproduction appeared to commence from several stages in the life cycle of the parasite. After an initial round of division into two new daughter cells, multiple interconnected parasites could be produced by three distinct pathways. The first resembled budding sensu stricto, i.e. retention of nuclear material by the parent cell for incorporation into daughter cells during subsequent rounds of division. The second involved direct division from paired merozoites and the third was division from paired parasites of apparent trophozoite morphology.