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Description of Piroplasmorida

Aconoid apicomplexan sporozoa, the 'piroplasms' occur in a wide range of mammals and birds and to a lesser extent in reptiles; parasitism of domestic livestock may cause severe economic losses; piriform, round, rod-shaped or amoeboid; without conoid; oocysts, spores or pseudocysts absent; with or without subpellicular microtubules; flagella absent; with polar ring and rhoptries; locomotion by body flexion, gliding, or by an axopodium-like Strahlen in a few; asexual and probably sexual reproduction occurs; parasitic in erythrocytes and sometimes also in other circulating and fixed cells; heteroxenous, with merogony in vertebrate and sporogony in invertebrate hosts; sporozoites with single-membraned wall; vectors where known are usually ticks.

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