Parasitology Research

, 104:683 | Cite as

Light and transmission electron microscopic studies on trophozoites and cyst-like stages of Histomonas meleagridis from cultures

  • Mareike Munsch
  • Abdulrahman Lotfi
  • Hafez Mohammed Hafez
  • Saleh Al-Quraishy
  • H. MehlhornEmail author
Original Paper


The present study deals with Berlin strains of Histomonas meleagridis, the specimens of which were cultivated in Dwyer’s medium. The light and electron microscopic examination revealed that the cultivated trophozoite stages (reaching about 10 μm in size) appeared more or less spherical, although their surface (covered by a single membrane) showed amoeba-like waves. All stages were uni-nucleated and reproduced by binary fission with an extranuclear spindle apparatus. Some trophozoites appeared ovoid and possessed a single flagellum with a typical microtubular 9 × 2 + 2 arrangement. Furthermore, the latter were characterized by an inner row of typical microtubules (remnant of an axostyle) and a Golgi apparatus (both adjacent to the nucleus), multivesicular structures, hydrogenosomes, and many food vacuoles containing either starch grains or bacteria. Their cytoplasm was densely filled with glycogen granules and ribosomes. Similar stages were also documented in the caeca and cloaca of chicken when being inoculated (via cloaca) with such culture stages. In addition to these typical trophozoites, the cultures contained a low number of 10-μm-sized spherical cyst-like stages with a surrounding amorphous layer. The cytoplasm of some of these cyst-like stages—when studied by electron microscopy—appeared with two membranes or had formed an amorphic, cyst-wall-like layer at their surface, apparently corresponding to their light microscopical appearance. Such stages might be involved in transmission from one host to another and probably have been missed before in microscopical examinations of infected poultry.


Methylene Blue Starch Granule Food Vacuole Glycogen Granule Binary Fission 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We hereby gratefully acknowledge the support by the King Saud University Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mareike Munsch
    • 1
  • Abdulrahman Lotfi
    • 2
  • Hafez Mohammed Hafez
    • 2
  • Saleh Al-Quraishy
    • 3
  • H. Mehlhorn
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Zoomorphology, Cytology and ParasitologyHeinrich Heine University of DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Poultry DiseasesFree University BerlinBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Department of ZoologyKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia

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