A morphological and molecular phylogenetic study of proteocephalid tapeworms of the genus Acanthotaenia von Linstow, 1903, parasites of monitors (Varanidae), was carried out. The type species, A. shipleyi von Linstow, 1903, which was originally described based on an immature specimen from Sri Lanka, is redescribed based on new material from the type host, Varanus salvator, in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Vietnam, and its neotype is designated. In addition, Acanthotaenia susanae n. sp. is described from Varanus nebulosus in Vietnam. The new species differs from congeners by the large size of the scolex, width of the rostellum and the number of testes. New molecular data (sequences of lsrDNA and cox1) revealed Acanthotaenia paraphyletic with the inclusion of Australotaenia bunthangi de Chambrier & Scholz, 2012, a parasite of Enhydris enhydris (Ophidia: Homalopsidae) in Cambodia. Molecular data confirm a wide distribution of A. shipleyi (isolates from Malaysia and Vietnam were almost identical) and indicate a strict host specificity (oioxeny) of individual species of the genus. Type specimens of four species made it possible to supplement their morphological descriptions. A survey of all species of Acanthotaenia recognised as valid is presented and the following taxonomic changes are proposed: Acanthotaenia pythonis Wahid, 1968 described from the green python, Morelia viridis, in a zoo, is transferred to Kapsulotaenia as Kapsulotaenia pythonis (Wahid, 1968) n. comb., because it possesses intrauterine eggs grouped in capsules. Acanthotaenia gracilis (Beddard, 1913) from Varanus varius in Australia is considered to be species inquirenda because its original descriptions did not contain sufficient data for adequate circumscription and differentiation from congeners and type material was not available. Generic diagnosis of Acanthotaenia is amended and a key to its seven species is provided.
In forensic entomology, breeding of fly larvae in a controlled laboratory environment using animal tissue is a common technique to obtain insect developmental time for the estimation of postmortem interval. Previous studies on growth media are mostly on the effect of different diets on fly development. However, the interaction effects between temperature and food type used have not been explored. The objective of this study was to compare the use of cow's liver agar and raw liver on the development of a forensically important fly, Megaselia scalaris (Loew). This study also determined the interaction between different temperatures and different food types on the growth of this species. A total of 100 M. scalaris eggs were transferred into each of the two media mentioned above. Liver agar was prepared by adding dried ground liver into nutrient agar, whilst raw liver was naturally prepared from the same animal source. This experiment was conducted at 27, 30 and 33 °C in an incubator in a continuously dark condition. Length and weight of larvae, puparia and adult samples were determined. Total developmental times for larvae feeding on liver agar at each temperature were approximately 7-15 h slower than those feeding on raw liver. Survival rates were almost equal in both diets but were lower at 33 °C. Mean larva length in both diets did not differ significantly at all temperatures, but larvae feeding on liver agar had lower mean weight values than those in raw liver at 30 and 33 °C. The effect of temperature was significant in female puparia weight and male adult weight whereas the effect of diet types was significant in both male and female puparia size and weight. Interaction effects of temperature and food type on M. scalaris puparium size and adult weight were significant, indicating that puparium size and adult weight depended on both food type and temperature. This experiment highlighted the use of cow's liver agar as an alternative diet to breed M. scalaris in the laboratory and the importance of considering the interaction effect between temperatures and food types when deciding the most suitable medium in fly larva rearing.
Cosmopolitan scuttle fly, Megaselia scalaris (Loew) (Diptera: Phoridae) is one of the commonest forensic species recorded colonizing human corpse indoors and in concealed environment. The occurrence of this species in such environments provides a higher evidential value to assist estimation of postmortem interval (PMI) compared to other forensically important dipterans. However, developmental and size data of M. scalaris are still lacking and they are derived from a limited range of thermal values. The objective of this study is to develop the growth model of M. scalaris by emphasizing the size range of larvae and puparia at different constant temperatures. This species was reared in six replicates at eight varying constant temperatures ranging from 23 to 36 °C and cow's liver was provided as food source. Larvae and puparia were sampled at set time intervals and measured by their length and weight. Because interpretation of forensic entomological evidence is subject to application of different techniques, development of M. scalaris is expressed herein by using developmental table, length/morphological stage diagrams and linear/nonlinear estimation methods. From the findings, it is very important to highlight that sexual dimorphism of M. scalaris during post feeding larva and pupa stage could be observed based on size and developmental periods. Mean length and weight ratios of male to female puparia are approximately 0.8 and 0.3-0.5, respectively, indicating sexual dimorphism of this species. Developmental period in female are 4.0-11.4 h (post feeding larval stage), 3.7-24.0 h (pupal stage), and 3.0-20.1 h (total developmental period) longer in male. Due to this dimorphism, PMI estimation using M. scalaris post feeding larva or puparium specimens must be carried out carefully by to avoid inaccuracy and misinterpretation.
Thelohanellus kitauei is a freshwater myxosporean parasite causing intestinal giant cystic disease of common carp. To clarify the life cycle of T. kitauei, we investigated the oligochaete populations in China and Hungary. This study confirms two distinct aurantiactinomyxon morphotypes (Aurantiactinomyxon type 1 and Aurantiactinomyxon type 2) from Branchiura sowerbyi as developmental stages of the life cycle of T. kitauei. The morphological characteristics and DNA sequences of these two types are described here. Based on 18S rDNA sequence analysis, Aurantiactinomyxon type 1 (2048 bp) and Aurantiactinomyxon type 2 (2031 bp) share 99.2-99.4 %, 99.8-100 % similarity to the published sequences of T. kitauei, respectively. The 18S rDNA sequences of these two aurantiactinomyxon morphotypes share 99.4 % similarity, suggesting intraspecific variation within the taxon, possibly due to geographic origin. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrate the two aurantiactinomyxon types clustered with T. kitauei. Regardless, based on 18S rDNA synonymy, it is likely that Aurantiactinomyxon type 1 and 2 are conspecific with T. kitauei. This is the fourth elucidated two-host life cycle of Thelohanellus species and the first record of T. kitauei in Europe.
Trichomonas vaginalis, a flagellated protozoan parasite, is commonly found in the genitourinary tract of humans. Its mode of reproduction has always been reported to be binary fission. The high parasite numbers seen in a relatively short period in in vitro cultures led us to believe that there must be other modes of reproduction. The present study for the first time provides transformational evidence at the ultrastructural level seen in tropohozoites of T. vaginalis undergoing a multiple asexual mode of reproduction. The findings show that the single cell with a nucleus is capable of dividing to as many as eight nuclei within the cytoplasmic body. Before the commencement of division, the nucleus remained round or ovoid in shape with condensed chromatin masses and only a few endoplasmic reticula surrounding the nucleus. During the division, the nucleus started to elongate and become irregular in shape with visible chromatin masses condensing with the accumulation of numerous endoplasmic reticula. Nuclear division gave rise to as many as eight nuclei within a cell, which could be seen to be connected by numerous endoplasmic reticula. In addition, a high number of hydrogenosomes and vacuoles can be seen in multinucleated T. vaginalis compared with single nucleated T. vaginalis. This study confirms that multiple modes of nuclear division do exist in T. vaginalis and are a precursor to progeny formation.
Seaweeds are one of the most widely studied natural resources for their biological activities. Novel seaweed compounds with unique chemical structures have been reported for their pharmacological properties. The urge to search for novel insecticidal compound with a new mode of action for development of botanical insecticides supports the relevant scientific research on discovering the bioactive compounds in seaweeds. The mosquitocidal potential of seaweed extracts and their isolated compounds are documented in this review paper, along with the discussion on bioactivities of the major components of seaweeds such as polysaccharides, phenolics, proteins, terpenes, lipids, and halogenated compounds. The effects of seaweed extracts and compounds toward different life stages of mosquito (egg, larva, pupa, and adult), its growth, development, and reproduction are elaborated. The structure-activity relationships of mosquitocidal compounds are discussed to extrapolate the possible chemical characteristics of seaweed compounds responsible for insecticidal properties. Furthermore, the possible target sites and mode of actions of the mosquitocidal seaweed compounds are included in this paper. The potential synergistic effects between seaweeds and commercial insecticides as well as the toxic effects of seaweed extracts and compounds toward other insects and non-target organisms in the same habitat are also described. On top of that, various factors that influence the mosquitocidal potential of seaweeds, such as abiotic and biotic variables, sample preparation, test procedures, and considerations for a precise experimental design are discussed. The potential of active seaweed extracts and compounds in the development of effective bioinsecticide are also discussed.
Caballeria liewi Lim, 1995, uses adhesive secretions from the head organs and posterior secretory systems to assist in locomotion and attachment. Ultrastructural investigations show that the head organs of C. liewi consist of three pairs of antero-lateral pit-like openings bearing microvilli and ducts leading from two types of uninucleated gland cells (located lateral to the pharynx), one type producing rod-like (S1) bodies with an electron-dense matrix containing less electron-dense vesicles and the second type producing oval (S2) bodies with a homogeneous electron-dense matrix. Interlinking band-like structures are observed between S1 bodies and between S2 bodies. S1 body is synthesised in the granular endoplasmic reticulum, transported to a Golgi complex to be packaged into vesicles and routed into ducts for exudation. The synthesis of the S2 body is unresolved. Haptoral secretions manifested externally as net-like structures are derived from dual electron-dense (DED) secretory body produced in the peduncular gland cells. The DED body consists of a less electron-dense oval core in a homogeneous electron-dense matrix. On exocytosis into the pyriform haptoral reservoir, DED bodies are transformed into a secretion with two types of inclusions (less electron-dense oval and electron-dense spherical inclusions) in an electron-dense matrix. The secretions are further transformed (as small, oval, electron-dense bodies) when transported to the superficial anchor grooves, and on exudation into the gill tissues, the secretions become an electron-dense matrix. Secretory bodies associated with uniciliated structures, anchor sleeves and marginal hooks are also observed.
Entamoeba histolytica is the etiologic agent for amoebiasis. The excretory-secretory (ES) products of the trophozoites contain virulence factors and antigens useful for diagnostic applications. Contaminants from serum supplements and dead trophozoites impede analysis of ES. Therefore, a protein-free medium that can sustain maximum viability of E. histolytica trophozoites for the longest time duration will enable collection of contaminant-free and higher yield of ES products. In the present study, we compared the efficacy of four types of media in maintaining ≥ 95% trophozoite viability namely Roswell Memorial Park Institute (RPMI-1640), Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Medium (DMEM), phosphate-buffered saline for amoeba (PBS-A), and Hank's balanced salt solution (HBSS). Concurrently, the effect of adding L: -cysteine and ascorbic acid (C&A) to each medium on the parasite viability was also compared. DMEM and RPMI 1640 showed higher viabilities as compared to PBS-A and HBSS. Only RPMI 1640 showed no statistical difference with the control medium for the first 4 h, however the ≥ 95% viability was only maintained for the first 2 h. The other protein-free media showed differences from the serum- and vitamin-free TYI-S-33 control media even after 1 h of incubation. When supplemented with C&A, all media were found to sustain higher trophozoite viabilities than those without the supplements. HBSS-C&A, DMEM-C&A, and RPMI 1640-C&A demonstrated no difference (P>0.05) in parasite viabilities when compared with the control medium throughout the 8-h incubation period. DMEM-C&A showed an eightfold increment in time duration of sustaining ≥ 95% parasite viability, i.e. 8 h, as compared to DMEM alone. Both RPMI 1640-C&A and HBSS-C&A revealed fourfold and threefold increments (i.e., 8 and 6 h, respectively), whereas PBS-A-C&A showed only one fold improvement (i.e., 2 h) as compared to the respective media without C&A. Thus, C&A-supplemented DMEM or RPMI are recommended for collection of ES products.
The geographical distribution of tuberculosis (TB) overlaps with various parasitic infections. Uncovering the characteristics of coinfecting parasites that potentially affect the host susceptibility to TB is pertinent as it may provide input to current TB therapeutic and prophylactic measures. The present study was aimed at examining the types of parasitic infections in TB patients and healthy TB contacts (HC) in Orang Asli, Malaysian aborigines, who dwelled in the co-endemic areas. Stool and serum samples were collected from Orang Asli who fulfilled the selection criteria and provided written informed consents. Selected parasitic infections in the two study groups were determined by stool examination and commercial serum antibody immunoassays. The prevalence of parasitic infections in TB and HC participants were 100% (n = 82) and 94.6% (n = 55) respectively. The parasitic infections comprised toxocariasis, trichuriasis, amoebiasis, toxoplasmosis, hookworm infection, ascariasis, strongyloidiasis, and brugian filariasis, in decreasing order of prevalence. Overall, helminth or protozoa infection did not show any significant association with the study groups. However, when the species of the parasite was considered, individuals exposed to trichuriasis and toxoplasmosis showed significant odds reduction (odds ratio (OR) 0.338; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.166, 0.688) and odds increment (OR 2.193; 95% CI 1.051, 4.576) to have active pulmonary TB, respectively. In conclusion, trichuriasis and toxoplasmosis may have distinct negative and positive associations respectively with the increase of host susceptibility to TB.
Established criteria for morphological typing of sarcocysts was applied to a large series of cases of human skeletal muscle sarcocystosis in Malaysia to determine the type of sarcocyst present. We also wanted to test the general usefulness of this classification and to determine if there are any new cyst types. Three-dimensional (3-D) reconstruction was done to see if the sarcocyst has a distinct 3-D morphology. A total of 66 sarcocysts from 21 cases of human muscle sarcocystosis obtained from a previous prevalence study were examined. Tissue sections (5 microns thick) were stained with haematoxylin and eosin and studied under the light microscope. For 3-D reconstruction, an image analyser was used to align and reconstruct the sarcocyst after microscopic images had been captured with a charge-coupled device (CCD) camera. All the cysts best fit into the type 4 category. This classification is generally useful, although cyst wall characteristics and zoite size appear to be the most reliable criteria for classification. The cyst width averaged 77 microns (range, 30-137.5 microns). Cyst walls were smooth, had no cytophaneres and were less than 1 micron thick. No secondary cyst wall or surrounding inflammation was evident. Numerous cyst merozoites with diameters averaging 1 micron filled the cyst lumen. Although septa were not apparent, in many cysts, zoites were arranged in a unique, curvilinear fashion that suggested their presence. 3-D reconstruction showed the sarcocyst to be a long, tortuous "cylinder" with no branching or other distinguishing feature.
Domestic dogs, Canis lupus, have been one of the longest companions of humans and have introduced their own menagerie of parasites and pathogens into this relationship. Here, we investigate the parasitic load of 212 domestic dogs with fleas (Siphonaptera) chewing lice (Phthiraptera), and ticks (Acarina) along a gradient from rural areas with near-natural forest cover to suburban areas in Northern Borneo (Sabah, Malaysia). We used a spatially-explicit hierarchical Bayesian model that allowed us to impute missing data and to consider spatial structure in modelling dog infestation probability and parasite density. We collected a total of 1,968 fleas of two species, Ctenocephalides orientis and Ctenocephalides felis felis, from 195 dogs (prevalence, 92 %). Flea density was higher on dogs residing in houses made of bamboo or corrugated metal (increase of 40 % from the average) compared to timber or stone/compound houses. Host-dependent and landscape-level environmental variables and spatial structure only had a weak explanatory power. We found adults of the invasive chewing louse Heterodoxus spiniger on 42 dogs (20 %). The effect of housing conditions was opposite to those for fleas; lice were only found on dogs residing in stone or timber houses. We found ticks of the species Rhipicephalus sanguineus as well as Haemaphysalis bispinosa gp., Haemaphysalis cornigera, Haemaphysalis koenigsbergi, and Haemaphysalis semermis on 36 dogs (17 %). The most common tick species was R. sanguineus, recorded from 23 dogs. Tick infestations were highest on dogs using both plantation and forest areas (282 % increase in overall tick density of dogs using all habitat types). The infestation probability of dogs with lice and ticks decreased with elevation, most infestations occurred below 800 m above sea level. However, the density of lice and ticks revealed no spatial structure; infestation probability of dogs with these two groups revealed considerable autocorrelation. Our study shows that environmental conditions on the house level appeared to be more influential on flea and lice density whereas tick density was also influenced by habitat use. Infestation of dogs with Haemaphysalis ticks identified an important link between dogs and forest wildlife for potential pathogen transmission.
The shedding pattern of the protozoan parasite, Blastocystis hominis, is investigated in man and in experimental animal infections. The shedding pattern of the vacuolar and cystic forms of Blastocystis hominis in infected individuals have been shown in the present study to be irregular. The study shows that there is marked fluctuation in the shedding of the parasite from day to day, varying from as high as 17 to 0 per x40 microscopic field. The cystic stages when estimated in 8 Blastocystis-infected individuals ranged from as high as 7.4x10(5) cysts per gram of stool to 0. The shedding of cystic and vacuolar forms observed over a period of 20 days in experimentally-infected Wistar rats were not only shown to be irregular but the amount varied from host to host. The study has important diagnostic implications in that the stool samples must be collected more than once from patients showing clinical signs and symptoms to eliminate the cause of it to Blastocystis. The study also shows that there are asymptomatic individuals who pass a large amount of cysts as such individuals should be treated to prevent transmission to others.
The ornamental fish trade provides a pathway for the global translocation of aquatic parasites. We examined a total of 1020 fish imported from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, or Sri Lanka to Australia (including freshwater and marine fish species) for monogenean ectoparasites. Fish were received following veterinary certification that they showed no clinical signs of pests and diseases from the exporting country and visual inspection at Australian border control. Australian import conditions require mandatory treatment for goldfish with parasiticides (e.g. trichlorfon, formaldehyde, sodium chloride) for the presence of gill flukes (Dactylogyrus vastator Nybelin, 1924 and Dactylogyrus extensus Mueller and Van Cleave, 1932) prior to export. Over 950 individual parasites were detected in five imported fish species, representing 14 monogenean species. Seven Dactylogyrus spp. including D. vastator and three Gyrodactylus spp. infected goldfish, Carassius auratus Linnaeus, 1758, from Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. Dactylogyrus ostraviensis Řehulka, 1988, infected rosy barb, Pethia conchonius Hamilton, 1822, from Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand while two Trianchoratus spp. infected three spot gourami, Trichopodus trichopterus Pallas, 1970 and pearl gourami Trichopodus leerii Bleeker, 1852, from Sri Lanka. Urocleidoides reticulatus Mizelle & Price, 1964, infected guppy, Poecilia reticulata Peters, 1859, from Sri Lanka. The discovery of D. vastator in goldfish, as well as 13 other monogenean species, shows that pre-export health requirements, which include chemical treatment of goldfish, and inspection of all ornamental fish species did not prevent infection by monogeneans. Inspection prior to exportation and at border control must account for the highly cryptic nature of monogenean parasites and consider alternatives to current pre-export conditions and visual inspection at border control.
Blastocystis sp. is known to be the most commonly found intestinal protozoan parasite in human fecal surveys and has been incriminated to cause diarrhea and abdominal bloating. Binary fission has been widely accepted as the plausible mode of reproduction for this parasite. The present study demonstrates that subjecting the parasites in vitro to higher temperature shows the proliferation of parasite numbers in cultures. Transmission electron microscopy was used to compare the morphology of Blastocystis sp. subtype 3 isolated from a dengue patient having high fever (in vivo thermal stress) and Blastocystis sp. 3 maintained at 41 °C (in vitro thermal stress) and 37 °C (control). Fluorescence stains like acridine orange (AO) and 4',6'-diamino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) were used to demonstrate the viability and nuclear content of the parasite for both the in vitro and in vivo thermal stress groups of parasites. Blastocystis sp. at 37 °C was found to be mostly vacuolar whereas the in vitro thermal stressed isolates at 41 °C were granular with electron dense material seen to protect the granules within the central body. Parasites of the in vivo thermal stressed group showed similar ultrastructure as the in vitro ones. AO and DAPI staining provided evidence that these granules are viable which develop into progenies of Blastocystis sp. These granular forms were then observed to rupture and release progenies from the mother cells whilst the peripheral cytoplasmic walls were seen to degrade. Upon exposure to high temperature both in vitro and in vivo, Blastocystis sp. in cultures show higher number of granular forms seen to be protected by the electron dense material within the central body possibly acting as a protective mechanism. This is possibly to ensure the ability to survive for the granules to be developed as viable progenies for release into the host system.
Blastocystis sp. is a common intestinal parasite found in humans and animals. The possibility of zoonotic transmission to humans from livestock especially goats led us to investigate the genetic diversity of caprine Blastocystis sp. obtained from five different farms in Peninsular Malaysia. Moreover, there is a lack of information on the prevalence as well as genetic diversity of Blastocystis sp. in goat worldwide. Results showed that 73/236 (30.9 %) of the goats were found to be positive for Blastocystis infection. The most predominant Blastocystis sp. subtype was ST1 (60.3 %) followed by ST7 (41.1 %), ST6 (41.1 %), and ST3 (11.0 %) when amplified by PCR using sequenced-tagged site (STS) primers. Four farms had goats infected only with ST1 whereas the fifth showed mixed infections with multiple STs. The proximity of the fifth farm to human dwellings, nearby domesticated animals and grass land as opposed to a sterile captive environment in the first four farms may account for the multiple STs seen in the fifth farm. Since ST1, ST3, ST6 and ST 7 were previously reported in human infection worldwide in particular Malaysia, the potential of the zoonotic transmission of blastocystosis should not be disregarded. The implications of different farm management systems on the distribution of Blastocystis sp. STs are discussed.
Genomic DNA from 16 Blastocystis hominis isolates comprising of eight asymptomatic isolates (A1-A8) and eight symptomatic isolates (S1-S8) was amplified by arbitrarily primed polymerase chain reaction (AP-PCR) using 38 arbitrary 10-mer primers. Six primers (A10, B5, C20, D1, F6, and F10) generated reproducible DNA fingerprints. AP-PCR amplification revealed similar DNA fingerprints among all symptomatic isolates (S1-S8) with common bands at 850 bp using primer A10, 920 bp using primer B5, and 1.3 kbp using primer D1. Isolates A1, A3, A4, A5, A6, and A7 showed similar DNA banding patterns and all asymptomatic isolates (A1-A8) shared a major band at 1 kbp using primer B5. Isolates A2 and A8 showed distinct DNA banding patterns that differed from the remainder of the isolates. The results of the phylogenetic analyses showed that all symptomatic isolates (S1-S8) formed a clade with >70% similarity among the isolates and which were clearly separate from asymptomatic isolates A1, A3, A4, A5, A6, and A7. Asymptomatic isolates A2 and A8 formed two distinct and separate clades. AP-PCR revealed higher genetic variability within the asymptomatic isolates than within the symptomatic isolates. The present study suggests that AP-PCR can be a valuable method for differentiating between isolates of B. hominis and our results support the hypothesis that our asymptomatic and symptomatic B. hominis isolates may represent two different strains/species with varying pathogenic potential.
Blastocystis hominis has been regarded as an enigmatic parasite as many aspects of its basic biology remain uncertain. Many reproductive processes have been suggested for the organism; however, to date, only the binary fission has been proven. Plasmotomy is one of the modes of reproduction previously suggested to be seen in in vitro cultures. The present study provides trichrome and acridine orange staining evidence for the existence of nucleic acid suggestive of division of nucleus into multinucleate forms with the respective cytoplasm dividing giving rise to two or three progeny B. hominis. Transmission electron micrographs further confirmed that these daughter cells had respective surrounding surface coat, mitochondria, and vacuoles.
The amoeboid form of Blastocystis hominis has been reported infrequently, and its morphological descriptions have yielded conflicting and confusing reports. In the present study, we used the amoeboid forms seen predominantly in symptomatic patients infected with Blastocystis to provide detailed descriptions on the fine surface structure and intracellular morphology. Scanning electron microscopy revealed the irregular shape of the amoeboid form, with an intercalated fibrillar structure and a highly convoluted surface with deep indentations and projected pseudopodia. Transmission electron microscopy showed the existence of two types of amoeboid forms of B. hominis in in vitro culture, one with a large central vacuole containing tiny electron-dense particles while the other contains multiple small vacuoles in the cytoplasm. A surface coat with varying thickness surrounded the amoeboid form, which also showed prominent, extended pseudopodia of varying shape. Irregularly shaped mitochondrion-like organelles with prominent cristae, lipid inclusions, and multiple vacuoles were frequently seen in close proximity with the pseudopodia. The characteristic nucleus with a crescentic band of electron-dense chromatin material was also seen.
Blastocystis hominis is one of the most common human parasites that inhabit the intestinal tract. Conflicting reports continue to exist regarding the existence and the functional role of the amoeboid forms in the life cycle of the parasite. The present study investigates the presence of these forms in 20 isolates obtained from ten symptomatic and asymptomatic patients respectively. A total of 10,000 parasite cells per ml from each isolate were inoculated into three culture tubes each containing 3 ml of Jones' medium supplemented with 10% horse serum, incubated at 37 degrees C. The contents were examined daily for 10 days. Irregular and polymorphic amoeboid forms with multiple extended pseudopodia were observed in all isolates from symptomatic patients, while none of the isolates from asymptomatic patients showed the presence of the amoeboid forms. The amoeboid forms were initially noted on day 2 and the percentages increased from 2% to 28%, with peak percentages from day 3 to day 6. Transmission electron microscopy revealed two types of amoeboid forms; one containing a large central vacuole completely filled with tiny electron-dense granules, and the other which revealed multiple small vacuoles within the central body. The cytoplasm contained strands of electron-dense granules resembling rough endoplasmatic reticulum, which is suggestive of active protein synthesis. The surface coat of the amoeboid form surrounding the parasite showed uneven thickness. Acridine orange stained the central body yellow and the periphery orange, indicating activity at the level of nucleic acids. The amoeboid form could either be an indicator of pathogenicity of B. hominis, or the form likely to contribute to pathogenicity and be responsible for the symptoms seen in patients.