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Ultrastructural morphology suggesting a new hypothesis for development of microsporidians seen in Loma salmonae infecting the gills of rainbow and brook trout

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In two variants of Loma salmonae that have specificity for rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss(OA variant) and specificity to brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis(SV variant), the parasitophorous vacuole forms at the onset of sporogony. In the OA variant the merogonial stage is bound by a single plasma membrane in direct contact with host cytoplasm. The parasitophorous vacuole formation is initiated by the host cell surrounding the merogonial stages with endoplasmic reticulum (ER) as occurs in autophagy. Of the two host ER membranes surrounding the parasite, one remains in close association with the plasma membrane of the meront, while the other forms the limiting membrane of the vacuole. The sporogonial stage is bounded by two closely apposed membranes, giving the appearance of a thick electron dense plasmalemma. The observations from this study support the novel hypothesis that this microsporidian uses the intracellular process of autophagy to aid formation of a parasitophorous vacuole. The morphology of the SV‐variant is consistent with that of the OA‐variant suggesting that it uses the same mechanism for development.
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Keywords: Loma salmonae; autophagy; parasitophorous vacuole

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Pathology and Microbiology, Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, 550 University Ave, Charlottetown, PEI, CIA 4P3, Canada, 2: Department of Biomedical Sciences, Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, 550 University Ave, Charlottetown, PEI, CIA 4P3, Canada and 3: Electron Microscopy, Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, 550 University Ave, Charlottetown, PEI, CIA 4P3, Canada

Publication date: 2006-02-01

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