Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Experiments to produce cysts in cultures of Histomonas meleagridis—the agent of histomonosis in poultry

  • 178 Accesses

  • 13 Citations

Abstract

Experiments were done with cultured trophozoite stages of different clonal strains (Histomonas meleagridis/Turkey/Austria/2922-C6/04 and H. meleagridis/Chicken/Hungary/5009-C2/05) of H. meleagridis in order to induce a cyst formation as it is known in other intestinal parasites. It was shown that the best multiplication of H. meleagridis occurred at 40°C in a full medium 199, when fetal calf serum and rice starch had been added. Under these conditions, numerous amoebic stages (8–12 µm in diameter) without and a few with flagellum were seen showing regular reproduction rates. When the conditions of culture were experimentally changed—and thus became worse—by decreasing the temperature, by deprivation of the medium from fetal calf serum and/or rice starch, and by changing the osmolarity, the pH, or the MgCl2 concentration, many of the amoebic stages (containing starch granules) were destroyed, and several had obtained a spherical shape. If the culture conditions became even worse, smaller spherical stages occurred, which had only diameters of 4–7 µm and which appeared more condensed. Both spherical stages did not contain starch granules. All the previously seen stages disappeared constantly. Since a similar decrease of the optimal living conditions also occurs when intestinal or cloacal feces are deposited outside from the bird’s body, the results obtained here may underline the interpretation that some of the formerly amoebic stages are able to become large spherical stages and later small spherical stages. The large spherical stage would be some type of precysts while the smaller ones would represent true cysts.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

References

  1. Graybill HW, Smith T (1920) Production of fatal blackhead in turkeys by feeding embryonated eggs of Heterakis papillosa. J Exp Med 31:647–655

  2. Hess M, Grabensteiner E, Liebhart D (2006a) Rapid transmission of the protozoan parasite Histomonas meleagridis in turkeys an specific pathogen-free chickens following cloacal infection with monoeukaryotic culture. Avian Pathol 35:280–285

  3. Hess M, Kolbe T, Grabensteiner E, Prosl H (2006b) Clonal cultures of Histomonas meleagridis. Tetratrichomonas gallinarum and Blastocystis sp. established through micromanipulation. Parasitol Res 133:547–554

  4. Huber K, Gouilloud L, Zenner L (2007) A preliminary study of natural and experimental infection of the lesser mealworm Alphitobius diaperinus (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) with Histomonas meleagridis (Protozoa: Sarcomastigophora). Avian Pathol 36:279–282

  5. Liebhart D, Hess M (2009) Oral infection of turkeys with vitro-cultured Histomonas meleagridis results in high mortality. Avian Pathol 38:223–227

  6. McDougald LR (2005) Blackhead disease (histomoniasis) in poultry: a critical review. Avian Dis 49:462–476

  7. Mehlhorn H (ed) (2008) Encyclopedia of parasitology, 3rd edn. Springer, Heidelberg

  8. Mielewczik M, Mehlhorn H, Al-Quraishy S, Grabensteiner E, Hess M (2008) Transmission electron microscopic studies of stages of Histomonas meleagridis from clonal cultures. Parasitol Res 103:745–750

  9. Munsch M, Lotfi A, Hafez M, Al-Quraishy S, Mehlhorn H (2008) Light and transmission electron studies on trophozoites and cyst-like stages of Histomonas meleagridis from cultures. Parasitol Res 104:683–689

  10. Norton PA, Clark FD, Beasley JN (1999) An outbreak of histomoniasis in turkeys infected with a moderate level of Ascaria dissimilis but no Heterakis gallinarum. Avian Dis 43:342–348

  11. Tyzzer EE (1919) Development phases of the protozoan of blackhead in turkeys. J Med Res 40:1–30

  12. Tyzzer EE, Collier J (1925) Induced and natural transmission in the absence of Heterakis. J Infect Dis 37:265–276

  13. Zaragatzki E, Hess M, Grabensteiner E, Abdel-Ghaffar F, Al-Rasheid KAS, Mehlhorn H (2010) Light and transmission electron microscopic studies on the encystation of Histomonas meleagridis. Parasitol Res (in press).

Download references

Acknowledgement

Hereby, we acknowledge the support of the Center of Excellence of the College of Science at the King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Author information

Correspondence to Heinz Mehlhorn.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Zaragatzki, E., Mehlhorn, H., Abdel-Ghaffar, F. et al. Experiments to produce cysts in cultures of Histomonas meleagridis—the agent of histomonosis in poultry. Parasitol Res 106, 1005–1007 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-010-1776-3

Download citation

Keywords

  • Fetal Calf Serum
  • Starch Granule
  • Vegetative Stage
  • Rice Starch
  • Full Medium