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Spironucleosis (Hexamitiasis, Hexamitosis) in the Ring-Necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus): Detection of Cysts and Description of Spironucleus meleagridis in Stained Smears

A. M. Wood and H. V. Smith
Avian Diseases
Vol. 49, No. 1 (Mar., 2005), pp. 138-143
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1593485
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Spironucleosis (Hexamitiasis, Hexamitosis) in the Ring-Necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus): Detection of Cysts and Description of Spironucleus meleagridis in Stained Smears
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Abstract

Trophozoites and cysts of Spironucleus (Hexamita) meleagridis were detected in the intestinal fluid and mucus of pheasant poults with spironucleosis (hexamitiasis, hexamitosis) following staining with Heidenhain iron hematoxylin (HIH) and the Romanowsky-type stain Hemacolor®. Their morphology was consistent with that of flagellates of the genus Spironucleus, and bright-field morphologic observations were confirmed by transmission electron microscopy. Cysts occurred mostly within intestinal mucus, which was firmly compressed between microscope slides prior to staining. The internal structures of cysts were similar to those of trophozoites, allowing them to be confidently recognized. Hemacolor provided differential color staining of trophozoites and cysts, allowing accurate identification of S. meleagridis life cycle stages, even in smears in which there was heavy background staining. While HIH often produced clearer and more detailed staining of protozoan structures, in the context of a diagnostic laboratory its use was outweighed by the ease of use, rapidity of results, and differential color staining provided by Hemacolor. The possible significance of a resistant cystic stage in the life cycle of S. meleagridis is discussed. /// Se detectaron trofozoitos y quistes de Spironucleus meleagridis (Hexamita) en la mucosidad y fluido intestinal de polluelos de faisan con spironucleosis (Hexamitiasis, Hexamitosis) luego de ser teñidos con hematoxilina ferrosa de Heidenhain y tinción Hemacolor® tipo Romanowsky. Su morfología fue similar a la de los flagelados del género Spironucleus y las observaciones morfológicas obtenidas en el microscopio de luz fueron confirmadas con el microscopio electrónico. Los quistes se presentaron principalmente en la mucosidad intestinal, la cual fue comprimida firmemente entre cubreobjetos antes de su tinción. Las estructuras internas de los quistes fueron similares a las de los trofozoitos permitiendo así su adecuada identificación. La tinción Hemacolor permitió la diferenciación de los quistes y trofozoitos, facilitando la identificación precisa de las etapas del ciclo de vida del S. meleagridis, incluso en frotis con abundantes artefactos. Aunque la tinción con hematoxilina ferrosa de Heidenhain produjo una tinción más clara y detallada de las estructuras de los protozoarios, en el contexto del laboratorio de diagnóstico su utilización fue sobrepasada por la tinción Hemacolor debido a la facilidad en su uso, rapidez de los resultados y tinción diferencial. Se discute la posible significancia de una etapa de resistencia quística en el ciclo de vida del S. meleagridis.

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