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Description of Trachipleistophora

The type species is T. hominis Hollister, Canning, Weidner, Field, Kench and Marriott, 1996, reported from the skeletal muscle of an AIDS patient, Homo sapiens (Primates, Hominidae). Transmissable to athymic mice in which viscera were infected as well as striated muscle (Hollister et al., 1996). Monomorphic, monokaryotic throughout life cycle. Meiosis unknown. Transmission has been achieved per os in athalmic mice. All stages lie in a zone of disorganised host cell cytoplasm within intact myofibrils. This zone contains bundles and irregular arrays of double walled tubules. Merogony: uninucleate, binucleate or tetranucleate cells bounded by an electron dense surface coat, overlying the plasma membrane and extending into the lysed host cell cytoplasm as prominent branching and anastomosing processes. Vesicles, which probably originate from host sarcoplasmic reticulum, are aligned with these electron dense extensions. Division is by binary fission. Sporogony: the electron dense coat, now smoother in outline, separates as a sporophorous vesicle around a mononucleate sporont. Repeated binary fissions occur within the vesicle, which enlarges to accommodate the growing number of potential sporoblasts, the final number ranging from 2 to >32, in vesicles measuring 5 µm diameter to 14.0 x 11.0 µm. Spores, 4.0 x 2.4 µm, are pyriform with a distinct posterior vacuole. Monokaryotic. Polar tube is isofilar with about 11.5 coils measuring up to 75 µm when extruded. Polaroplast is lamellar.

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