Blastocystis sp. is a commonly found intestinal microorganism and was reported to cause many nonspecific gastrointestinal symptoms. Various subtypes have been previously reported, and the pathogenicity of different subtypes of Blastocystis is unclear and remains as a controversial issue. A recent study has shown that the Blastocystis antigen isolated from an unknown subtype could facilitate the proliferation of colon cancer cells. Current study was conducted to compare the effect of solubilized antigen isolated from five different subtypes of Blastocystis on colon cancer cells, HCT116. A statistically significant proliferation of these cells was observed when exposed to 1.0 μg/ml solubilized antigen isolated from subtype 3 Blastocystis (37.22%, p < 0.05). Real-time polymerase chain reaction demonstrated the upregulation of Th2 cytokines especially transforming growth factor beta in subtype 3-treated cancer cells (p < 0.01, 3.71-fold difference). Of interest, subtype 3 Blastocystis antigen also caused a significantly higher upregulation of cathepsin B (subtypes 1 and 2, p < 0.01; subtypes 4 and 5, p < 0.001; 6.71-fold difference) which lead to the postulation that it may enhance the exacerbation of existing colon cancer cells by weakening the cellular immune response. The dysregulation of IFN-γ and p53 expression also suggest Blastocystis as a proponent of carcinogenesis. Therefore, it is very likely for subtype 3 Blastocystis to have higher pathogenic potential as it caused an increased propagation of cancer cells and substantial amount of inflammatory reaction compared to other subtypes.
This study focuses on the larvicidal, oviposition, and ovicidal effects of a crude extract of Artemisia annua against Aedes aegypti, Anopheles sinensis, and Culex quinquefasciatus. Dried cells of Artemisia annua from cell suspension cultures were extracted using hexane. The extract showed moderate larvicidal effects against mosquitoes. At 24-h post treatment, the LC50 values for Anopheles sinensis, Aedes aegypti, and Culex quinquefasciatus were recorded as 244.55, 276.14, and 374.99 ppm, respectively. The percentage mortality of larvae was directly proportional to the tested concentration. Anopheles sinensis was found to be the most susceptible species, whereas Culex quinquefasciatus was the most tolerant to the Artemisia annua extract. The results indicated that the Artemisia annua extract showed concentration-dependent oviposition deterrent activity and had a strong deterrent effect. At 500 ppm, the percentage effective repellency was more than 85% compared with the control group for all the species, with oviposition activity index values of -0.94, -0.95, and -0.78 for Aedes aegypti, Anopheles sinensis, and Culex quinquefasciatus, respectively. In the ovicidal assay, the percentage hatchability of eggs after treatment with 500 ppm of Artemisia annua extract was significantly lower than the control, with values of 48.84 ± 4.08, 38.42 ± 3.67, and 79.35 ± 2.09% for Aedes aegypti, Anopheles sinensis, and Culex quinquefasciatus, respectively. Artemisia annua was found to be more effective against Aedes aegypti and Anopheles sinensis compared with Culex quinquefasciatus. This study indicated that crude extract of A. annua could be a potential alternative for use in vector management programs.
Detection of Strongyloides stercoralis infection particularly in asymptomatic individuals is often hampered due to the lack of standard diagnostic tools. In this study, the use of serological and molecular approaches were investigated for the detection of S. stercoralis infection among an Orang Asli (indigenous) community following a preliminary detection by microscopic examination of faecal samples. Out of 54 individuals studied, 17/54 (31.5%) were detected to be positive for S. stercoralis infection by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), compared to 0/54 (0%) by faecal examination. Further confirmation performed by a nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using DNA extracted from faecal samples of these 17 individuals yielded 3/17 (17.6%) positives for S. stercoralis DNA amplification. No amplification was seen with the other 37 faecal samples, which were negative by microscopy and ELISA. As the high ELISA positive results were suspected to be false-positives, ELISA is not recommended for use as a detection tool but may be beneficial for evaluating the effectiveness of anti-Strongyloides drugs. The present finding indicated that PCR should be considered as an alternative diagnostic tool for the detection of S. stercoralis infection.
The authors studied the myxosporean infection of wild gobiid fishes (Perciformes: Gobioidei) in the Merang Estuary of Terengganu, Malaysia, and described Myxobolus ophiocarae sp. n. in Ophiocara porocephala. Several myxosporean plasmodia were found intralamellarly within the gill filaments. The spores differed from those of other Myxobolus species previously recorded on gobiid fishes. They were round in valvular view and lens-shaped in sutural view, and had two equal-sized, pyriform polar capsules with polar filaments having six to seven turns. The spores measured 10.34 × 8.79 × 4.53 μm. The 18S rDNA sequence of M. ophiocarae sp. n., based on a contiguous sequence of 1,789 base pairs, differed from any other Myxobolus spp. in GenBank. Phylogenetic analysis of the 18S rDNA gene revealed that this species showed the closest similarity to Myxobolus nagaraensis, Myxobolus lentisuturalis, and Myxobolus cultus.
The objective of this study was to assess the physico-chemical parameters and waterborne parasites in selected recreational lakes from Malaysia. Samples were collected from seven stations of Recreational Lake A (RL-A) and six stations of Recreational Lake B (RL-B). The samples were processed to detect the presence of Giardia spp. and Cryptosporidium spp. using immunomagnetic separation kit, helminth eggs or ova by bright field microscopy and Acanthamoeba spp. by cultivation in non-nutrient agar. Chemical parameters such as ammonia, chlorine, fluoride, nitrate and nitrite and physical parameters such as dissolved oxygen, electrical conductivity, pH, salinity, temperature and total dissolved solid were also measured. Both lakes were freshwater with salinity ranging from 0.05 to 0.09 ppt. Most stations of these lakes were contaminated with Cryptosporidium spp., Giardia spp., Ascaris spp. and hookworm. Schistosoma spp. was found in RL-B only, while Acanthamoeba spp. was found in all stations. Of all sampling sites, station 5 of RL-B is the most contaminated. Linear regression and correlation analysis revealed that Giardia spp. and Schistosoma spp. showed a significant negative correlation with turbidity (p
Blastocystis sp., an intestinal organism is known to cause diarrhea with metronidazole regarded as the first line of treatment despite reports of its resistance. The conflicting reports of variation in drug treatment have been ascribed to subtype differences. The present study evaluated in vitro responses due to metronidazole on ST3 isolated from three symptomatic and asymptomatic patients, respectively. Symptomatic isolates were obtained from clinical patients who showed symptoms such as diarrhea and abdominal bloating. Asymptomatic isolates from a stool survey carried out in a rural area. These patients had no other pathogens other than Blastocystis. Ultrastructural studies using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed drug-treated ST3 from symptomatic patients were irregular and amoebic with surface showing high-convoluted folding when treated with metronidazole. These organisms had higher number of mitochondrion-like organelle (MLO) with prominent cristae. However, the drug-treated ST3 from asymptomatic persons remained spherical in shape. Asymptomatic ST3 showed increase in the size of its central body with the MLO located at the periphery.
Malaria, the most widespread mosquito-borne disease, affects 350-500 million people each year. Eco-friendly control tools against malaria vectors are urgently needed. This research proposed a novel method of plant-mediated synthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNP) using a cheap seaweed extract of Ulva lactuca, acting as a reducing and capping agent. AgNP were characterized by UV-vis spectrophotometry, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The U. lactuca extract and the green-synthesized AgNP were tested against larvae and pupae of the malaria vector Anopheles stephensi. In mosquitocidal assays, LC50 values of U. lactuca extract against A. stephensi larvae and pupae were 18.365 ppm (I instar), 23.948 ppm (II), 29.701 ppm (III), 37.517 ppm (IV), and 43.012 ppm (pupae). LC50 values of AgNP against A. stephensi were 2.111 ppm (I), 3.090 ppm (II), 4.629 ppm (III), 5.261 ppm (IV), and 6.860 ppm (pupae). Smoke toxicity experiments conducted against mosquito adults showed that U. lactuca coils evoked mortality rates comparable to the permethrin-based positive control (66, 51, and 41%, respectively). Furthermore, the antiplasmodial activity of U. lactuca extract and U. lactuca-synthesized AgNP was evaluated against CQ-resistant (CQ-r) and CQ-sensitive (CQ-s) strains of Plasmodium falciparum. Fifty percent inhibitory concentration (IC50) values of U. lactuca were 57.26 μg/ml (CQ-s) and 66.36 μg/ml (CQ-r); U. lactuca-synthesized AgNP IC50 values were 76.33 μg/ml (CQ-s) and 79.13 μg/ml (CQ-r). Overall, our results highlighted out that U. lactuca-synthesized AgNP may be employed to develop newer and safer agents for malaria control.
Sarcocystis nesbitti, using snakes as the definitive host, is a causative agent of acute human muscular sarcocystosis in Malaysia. Therefore, it is important to explore the distribution and prevalence of S. nesbitti in snakes. Nevertheless, epizootiological information of S. nesbitti in snakes remains insufficient because few surveys have assessed Sarcocystis infection in snakes in endemic countries. In Japan, snakes are popular exotic pet animals that are imported from overseas, but the degree of Sarcocystis infection in them remains unclear. The possibility exists that muscular sarcocystosis by S. nesbitti occurs in contact with captive snakes in non-endemic countries. For a total of 125 snake faecal samples from 67 snake species collected at animal hospitals, pet shops and a zoo, this study investigated the presence of Sarcocystis using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the 18S ribosomal RNA gene (18S rDNA). Four (3.2%) faecal samples were positive by PCR. Phylogenetic analysis of the 18S rDNA sequences obtained from four amplification products revealed one isolate from a beauty snake (Elaphe taeniura), Sarcocystis zuoi, which uses rat snakes as the definitive host. The isolate from a Macklot's python (Liasis mackloti) was closely related with unidentified Sarcocystis sp. from reticulated pythons in Malaysia. The remaining two isolates from tree boas (Corallus spp.) were closely related with Sarcocystis lacertae, Sarcocystis gallotiae and unidentified Sarcocystis sp. from smooth snakes, Tenerife lizards and European shrews, respectively. This report is the first of a study examining the distribution of Sarcocystis species in captive snakes in Japan.
Dirofilaria immitis is a parasite of domestic and wild canids and felids in tropical, subtropical and temperate regions throughout the world. The canine heartworm (D. immitis) is the causative agent of canine and feline cardiopulmonary dirofilariasis. This parasite is known to cause a zoonotic disease, namely human pulmonary dirofilariasis. D. immitis is known to be endemic in several South and Southeast Asian countries (e.g. India and Malaysia), but there has previously been no information about the presence of this pathogen in Bangladesh. We present a case of canine dirofilariasis caused by D. immitis in rural southeastern Bangladesh. A male filaroid nematode (95 mm in length and 1.94 mm in width) was identified in the heart of a dog. Species classification was performed by microscopy and molecular tools. Sequence analysis revealed a 100 % identity within the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I (CO1) gene to two Chinese and one Australian D. immitis samples. Usually, dogs stay outside overnight with a high risk to get infected with D. immitis via nocturnal mosquito vectors, which may lead to high prevalences of this pathogen in the canine population and thus increase the risk of human infections with this neglected parasitic disease.
The sensitivity of larval paralysis assay (LPA) and 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide-formazan (MTT-formazan) assay was compared to evaluate the anthelmintic activity of plant extracts. In this study, the methanolic extract of Azadirachta indica (neem) was evaluated for its activity against the infective-stage larvae (L(3)) of susceptible and resistant Haemonchus contortus strains using the two aforementioned assays. In both in vitro assays, the same serial concentrations of the extract were used, and the median lethal concentrations were determined to compare the sensitivity of both assays. The results revealed a significant difference (P < 0.05) in the sensitivity of the LPA and the MTT-formazan assay. The MTT-formazan assay is more feasible for practical applications because it measured the L(3) mortality more accurately than LPA. This study may help find a suitable assay for investigating the anthelmintic activity of plant extracts against trichostrongylid nematodes.
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.
Toxoplasma gondii infects all warm-blooded animals including humans, causing serious public health problems and great economic loss in the food industry. Commonly used serological tests involve preparation of whole Toxoplasma lysate antigens from tachyzoites which are costly and hazardous. An alternative method for better antigen production involving the prokaryotic expression system was therefore used in this study. Recombinant dense granular protein, GRA2, was successfully cloned, expressed, and purified in Escherichia coli, BL21 (DE3) pLysS. The potential of this purified antigen for diagnosis of human infections was evaluated through western blot analysis against 100 human serum samples. Results showed that the rGRA2 protein has 100 and 61.5 % sensitivity towards acute and chronic infection, respectively, in T. gondii-infected humans, indicating that this protein is useful in differentiating present and past infections. Therefore, it is suitable to be used as a sensitive and specific molecular marker for the serodiagnosis of Toxoplasma infection in both humans and animals.
Blastocystis is one of the most common gut parasites found in the intestinal tract of humans and animals. We have previously reported the irregular shedding of Blastocystis cysts in stools from infected patients. In the present study, we assess the factors influencing shedding patterns from a Blastocystis ST3-infected IBS patient. The stools samples were voluntarily submitted for examination for a period of 30 days from Blastocystis ST3-infected IBS patient. A questionnaire on the factors that could influence the shedding pattern of the cysts was designed to assess the following information: (a) the frequency of frequenting the toilet in a day, (b) the timing of frequenting the toilet, (c) the stool forms, (d) the type of mood the patient was in when frequenting the toilet and (e) food intake. A total of 79 stool samples were collected for 30 days. The highest number of cysts recorded when the patient visited the toilet three times a day was 22.2 × 10(6) cysts/g. Frequenting the toilet between 6 a.m. to 11.59 a.m. showed the highest number of cysts, i.e. 21.7 × 10(6) cysts/g. Semi-solid forms showed the highest cyst count, i.e. 2.00 × 10(6) cysts/g. Irregular shedding of cysts was seen in 10 out of 30 days where the widest range recorded on day 17 was between 0 to 1.2 × 10(6) cysts/g. The average daily cyst count on days of emotional fluctuations was from 0 to 5.13 × 10(6) cysts/g. In conclusion, the study confirms that there are factors influencing shedding patterns of Blastocystis, and these have important implications when it comes to diagnosis and transmission of the parasite.
Trichomonas vaginalis, a flagellated protozoan parasite causes a variety of adverse health consequences in both men and women. The parasite exists in the trophozoite and the pseudocystic stage. The study reports for the first time that pseudocyst forms of T. vaginalis isolated from cervical neoplasia (CN) patients demonstrated distinct, different and significant in vitro growth profiles when grown in vitro cultures from day 1 up to day 5 (p<0.05, Mann-Whitney test) when compared with the same life cycle stages isolated from non-cervical neoplasia but symptomatic patients (NCN). Pseudocysts from CN and NCN isolates remained viable in distilled water until 3 h 10 min and 2 h 10 min, respectively. The nucleus of pseudocysts in CN isolates using acridine orange and DAPI showed more intense staining revealing higher nuclear content. The FITC-labeled Concanavalin A stained stronger green fluorescence with surface of pseudocysts in CN isolates showing more rough and creased surface with higher numbers of deep micropores with larger numbers of chromatin masses, vacuoles, and hydrogenosomes. The study confirms that pseudocystic stage from CN, despite the uniformity in appearance of being rounded and showing no motility without a true cyst wall under light microscopy, demonstrated different biochemical, surface, and ultrastructural properties. The study provides evidence that phenotypic variant forms of pseudocysts does exist and possibly does play a role in exacerbating cervical cancer.
Tor tambroides, a common and appreciated cyprinid fish of the Tasik Kenyir water reservoir in Malaysia, is one of the species selected for propagation. This fish was first successfully propagated in Malaysia by the Department of Agriculture, Sarawak, Malaysia, and the breeding program continued throughout the country. The gills were frequently infected by a Myxobolus species to be described as Myxobolus tambroides sp. n. The small, 50 to 70 μm, round plasmodia of this species is located intralamellarly. Plasmodia were filled with pyriform myxospores, 9.9 and 7.4 μm wide. In sutural view, the caudal end of the myxospores had a distinctive valvular groove, parallel with the suture. Plasmodia caused deformations on the affected and the neighbouring gill lamellae. The 18S rDNA sequence of M. tambroides sp.n. did not show a close relationship with any other Myxobolus spp., represented in the GenBank. This might be an emerging parasite likely to impact the propagation of this fish.
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.
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.
In February 2013, forty-seven Notched threadfin bream, the Nemipterus peronii, were sampled from the eastern coastal waters of the South China Sea. The concentration of various elements, namely cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), mercury (Hg), strontium (Sr), manganese (Mn), selenium (Se), Lead (Pb), nickel (Ni), aluminum (Al), arsenic (As), iron (Fe), and Zinc (Zn) were analyzed in the liver, muscle, and kidney organs of the host, as well as in their parasites Hysterothalycium reliquens (nematode) and the Paraphilometroides nemipteri (nematode), using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The former group of parasites showed highest accumulation capacity for Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Se, Ni, and Zn while the latter group had high accumulation potential of As, Hg, Cd, Al, Pb, and Sr. The divergence in heavy-metal accumulation profiles of both nematodes is linked with the specificity of microhabitats, cuticle morphology, and interspecific competition. The outcome of this study indicates that both parasite models can be used for biomonitoring of metal pollution in marine ecosystems.
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.