Detection of amastigote-like forms in the valve of phlebotomus papatasi Infected with Leishmania major
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A massive and homogeneous amount of amastigote-like forms was detected in the stomodeal valve (SV) and the thoracic mid-gut (TMG) of Leishmania major-infected Phlebotomus papatasi, which received a second blood meal 13 to 21 days post-infection on healthy anaesthetized hamsters. After re-feeding, the infected sand flies were dissected out to examine the morphology of the parasite in SV, TMG and the abdominal mid-gut (AMG). Different promastigote forms were seen in the infected flies. Among these included typical promastigotes (nectomonads and haptomonads), paramastigotes, metacyclic promastigotes and, in some samples, the here-reported amastigote-like forms. The Leishmania amastigote-like forms were detected in the SV of sand flies with 14, 18 and 21 days of infection as well as in the TMG at 13 and 18 days post-infection. However, the amastigote-like forms were not detected in the AMG. Factors such as the acidic pH predominating the TMG and the SV, as well as the temperature of the ingested blood, among others, are suggested as contributing to the transformation of the typical promastigotes into the amastigote-like forms. The significance of this finding is discussed and the possible biological advantage for transmission of Leishmania is considered.
|Editor||Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, Vol. 98(4)|