Leishmaniasis pp 267-270 | Cite as

Characterization of Leishmania Donovani Infective (Metacyclic) Promastigotes from Axenic Cultures

  • M. Keith Howard
  • Gillian Sayers
  • Michael A. Miles
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 171)


The infection of the female sand fly by Leishmania is initiated when the sand fly takes a bloodmeal from an infected mammal. Once in the midgut the amastigote transforms into the promastigote form of the parasite — a process which may or may not involve cell division (1,2). The promastigotes divide rapidly within the bloodmeal before being released into the gut lumen with the breakdown of the peritrophic membrane: division continues within the midgut. The motile parasites are free to migrate in an anterior or posterior direction within the gut lumen (1,3) although the bulk of the infection usually migrates anteriorly. This movement is associated with both a change in morphology (1) and infectivity (4) as the parasites cease division.


Axenic Culture Normal Human Serum Leishmania Donovani Promastigote Form Leishmania Promastigotes 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Keith Howard
    • 1
  • Gillian Sayers
    • 1
  • Michael A. Miles
    • 1
  1. 1.Wolfson Unit/Department of Medical ProtozoologyLondon School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineLondonUK

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