Parasitology Research

, Volume 79, Issue 1, pp 15–23 | Cite as

Ultrastructural observations of host-cell invasion by sporozoites ofEimeria papillata in vivo

  • Bill Chobotar
  • Harry D. Danforth
  • Rolf Entzeroth
Original Investigations


Scanning and transmission electron microscopy were used to study the invasion of mouse small-intestinal epithelium by sporozoites ofEimeria papillata. Some mice received oocysts by gavage and others received either sporocysts or sporozoites by direct injection into the small intestine. The highest concentration of invaded cells were found in ligated intestinal tissues studied at 5–45 min after the inoculation of sporozoites. Sporozoites actively invaded anterior end first, which resulted in extensive damage to the host cell. Such cells showed disrupted microvilli; protuberances of cytoplasm into the lumen, apparently the result of a disrupted plasma membrane; vacuolization of the cytoplasm; and damage to the mitochondria. These damaged cells were rapidly vacated as the sporozoite moved laterally into one or more adjacent intact host cells without entering the lumen. It is suggested that the host cell initially entered from the lumen becomes so severely traumatized that the parasite of necessity enters an adjacent cell as a prelude to further development. Various aspects of host-cell invasion by coccidia and malarial parasites are reviewed.


Electron Microscopy Plasma Membrane Transmission Electron Microscopy Small Intestine Host Cell 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bill Chobotar
    • 1
  • Harry D. Danforth
    • 2
  • Rolf Entzeroth
    • 3
  1. 1.Dept. of BiologyAndrews UniversityBerrien SpringsUSA
  2. 2.Livestock and Poultry Science Institute, Protozoan Diseases LaboratoryUSDA, ARSBeltsvilleUSA
  3. 3.Poppelsdorfer SchlossZoologisches Institut der Universität BonnBonn 1Federal Republic of Germany

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