Three-dimensional visualisation of developmental stages of an apicomplexan fish blood parasite in its invertebrate host

Hayes, P.M., Wertheim, D.F., Smit, N.J., Seddon, A.M. and Davies, A.J. 2011. Three-dimensional visualisation of developmental stages of an apicomplexan fish blood parasite in its invertebrate host. Parasites and Vectors. 4 (219). doi:10.1186/1756-3305-4-219

TitleThree-dimensional visualisation of developmental stages of an apicomplexan fish blood parasite in its invertebrate host
AuthorsHayes, P.M., Wertheim, D.F., Smit, N.J., Seddon, A.M. and Davies, A.J.
Abstract

Background

Although widely used in medicine, the application of three-dimensional (3D) imaging to parasitology appears limited to date. In this study, developmental stages of a marine fish haemogregarine, Haemogregarina curvata (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina), were investigated in their leech vector, Zeylanicobdella arugamensis; this involved 3D visualisation of brightfield and confocal microscopy images of histological sections through infected leech salivary gland cells.
Findings

3D assessment demonstrated the morphology of the haemogregarine stages, their spatial layout, and their relationship with enlarged host cells showing reduced cellular content. Haemogregarine meronts, located marginally within leech salivary gland cells, had small tail-like connections to the host cell limiting membrane; this parasite-host cell interface was not visible in two-dimensional (2D) light micrographs and no records of a similar connection in apicomplexan development have been traced.
Conclusions

This is likely the first account of the use of 3D visualisation to study developmental stages of an apicomplexan parasite in its invertebrate vector. Elucidation of the extent of development of the haemogregarine within the leech salivary cells, together with the unusual connections between meronts and the host cell membrane, illustrates the future potential of 3D visualisation in parasite-vector biology.

JournalParasites and Vectors
Journal citation4 (219)
ISSN1756-3305
Year2011
PublisherBioMed Central
Publisher's versionHayes et al 2011 PandV-1.pdf
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1186/1756-3305-4-219

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