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Two Malaria Parasites (Apicomplexa: Plasmodiidae) of the Australian Skink Egernia stokesii
Sam R. Telford, Jr. and Juergen Stein
The Journal of Parasitology
Vol. 86, No. 2 (Apr., 2000), pp. 395-406
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3284786
Page Count: 12
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The Australian skink Egernia stokesii is parasitized uncommonly by Plasmodium circularis n. sp. and by Plasmodium mackerrasae. Plasmodium circularis is distinguished from all other plasmodiids by immature schizonts that encircle host cell nuclei, forming an unbroken ring from apparent fusion of the attenuated ends. Mature schizonts contract into halteridial or dumbbell-shaped forms 15.6 x 4.3 μm, LW 66.2 μ m2, with 19-52 nuclei. Rounded or oval gametocytes are 9.0 x 7.3 μm, LW 66.9 μ m2, and L/W 1.24. Gametocyte LW is 2.63x host erythrocyte nucleus size and 1.79x uninfected erythrocyte nuclei. Plasmodium mackerrasae occurs in high prevalence and often massive parasitemia in E. stokesii. Schizonts, often oblong, elongate, or oval, are 5.1 x 3.7 μm, LW 19.8 μ m2, with 7.2 merozoites. Immature gametocytes, elongate with terminal nucleus, may produce multiple infections of 6 or more parasites. Mature gametocytes, usually rounded, are 5.8 x 4.6 μm, LW 26.7 μ m2, and L/W 1.29. Gametocyte size is 0.98x host erythrocyte nucleus size and 1.03x uninfected erythrocyte nuclei. Phanerozoites, in endothelium or connective tissue of most organs, may appear in large numbers in circulating blood as seemingly intact bodies of regular form, similar to or larger than phanerozoites seen in sections. Previously unreported phenomena for hemosporidian parasites include extremely large, highly irregular exoerythrocytic schizonts, in circulating blood, perhaps torn from endothelial lining of blood vessels and sinuses, and a visible flooding of free merozoites into the blood stream.
The Journal of Parasitology © 2000 The American Society of Parasitologists