Factors determining the in vitro emergence of sexual stages of Hepatozoon clamatae from erythrocytes of the Green Frog (Rana clamitans)

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Sexual reproduction of apicomplexan parasites in haematophagous arthropods requires that intracellular sexual stages of these protozoa escape vertebrate erythrocytes in the blood meal. Although cues that signal sexual stages of the human malaria parasite (Plasmodium falciparum Welch, 1897) to emerge from erythrocytes are well documented, such signals are poorly known for other blood-dwelling Apicomplexa. The objective of this comparative study was to investigate conditions required to induce in vitro emergence of sexual stages of Hepatozoon clamatae (Stebbins, 1905) from frog erythrocytes. Blood was drawn from Green Frogs (Rana clamitans Latreille in Sonnini de Manoncourt and Latreille, 1801 = Lithobates clamitans clamitans (Latreille in Sonnini de Manoncourt and Latreille, 1801)) infected with H. clamatae and treated with solutions of various concentrations of saline, pH, and xanthurenic acid at different temperatures. Hypertonic saline solutions of 200 and 222 mmol/L at pH 7.4 and 7.7 elicited emergence of nearly 100% of gamonts from frog erythrocytes, but at pH 8.0 resulted in decreased emergence. Solutions containing 1, 10, and 100 μmol/L xanthurenic acid increased gamont emergence at saline concentrations of 156, 178, and 244 mmol/L, but decreased emergence at 200 and 222 mmol/L. Gamont emergence increased as incubation temperatures increased from 18 to 26 °C. These results suggest that conditions necessary for emergence of sexual stages of bloodstream Apicomplexa from erythrocytes vary among genera.

Keywords: Culex territans; Green Frog; Hepatozoon clamatae; Plasmodium species; Rana clamitans; acide xanthurénique; blood; espèce de Plasmodium; gamont; gamonte; grenouille verte; malaria parasites; mosquito; moustique; parasites du paludisme; sang; xanthurenic acid

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjz-2012-0241

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6, Canada. 2: Department of Biology, University of Western Ontario, London, ON N6A 5B7, Canada.

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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