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Redescription of Haemoproteus mesnili (Apicomplexa: Plasmodiidae) and its meronts, with description of a second haemosporidian parasite of African cobras



Redescription of Haemoproteus mesnili (Apicomplexa: Plasmodiidae) and its meronts, with description of a second haemosporidian parasite of African cobras



Journal of Parasitology 93(3): 673-679



Haemoproteus mesnili (Bouet 1909) Wenyon 1926 is redescribed from the spitting cobra, Naja nigricollis nigricollis, of Tanzania. Mature gametocytes in the acute phase of infection averaged 17.7 X 7.3 jim, with LW 128.1 jim-, and L:W ratio 2.52. Nuclei were visible in both sexes. Both sexes were heavily pigmented, with 31-62 black granules dispersed in macrogametocytes; 20-46 granules were often clumped or concentrated near ends of microgametocytes. The halteridial form was present in 28% of active-phase gametocytes, but in only 8% of those in chronic phase. A few large, possibly first generation, meronts were present in cardiac muscle; uninucleate parasites within parasitophorous vacuoles in splenic cells produced small rounded or ovoid meronts, 12.2 x 9.6 microm, with 12-16 deeply basophilic, square-to-rectangular cytomeres. Meronts with 17-32 cytomeres were 16.9 x 11.9 microm. Meronts, 20 x 16 to 26 x 22 microm, contained 51-57 cytomeres. Mature meronts were ovoid, 13.7 x 11.5 microm, with many rounded merozoites. Haemoproteus balli n. sp, found in an Egyptian cobra, Naja haje haje of Kenya, differs from H. mesnili in average gametocyte dimensions, 10.8 x 7.7 microm; LW, 83.2 microm2; L/W ratio, 1.42; absence of halteridial forms; sparse pigmentation (3-10 granules); and presence of a broad peripheral band, apparently chromatin, along one side of microgametocytes.

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Accession: 014163843

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PMID: 17626363

DOI: 10.1645/ge-3582.1


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