Folia Parasitologica 59 81-86 (2012) | DOI: 10.14411/fp.2012.012
This paper describes the fine structure of oocysts of Nematopsis sp. (Apicomplexa, Porosporidae) found in the abductor muscles of seawater clams, Meretrix meretrix (Linnaeus, 1758) (Veneridae), collected near the city of Dammam (6°17'0"N, 50°12'0"E) in the Arabian Gulf off the coast of Saudi Arabia. Oocysts of an ellipsoidal shape were found among myofibrils of the abductor muscles of infected clams. Each oocyst is composed of an oocyst wall surrounding a single uninucleate vermiform sporozoite located in the lumen of the oocyst wall. The thin oocyst wall (0.70-0.85 µm thick) is composed of homogenous electron-lucent material formed by three layers of equal-thickness. The oocyst wall contains a plano-convex opercular-like structure about 2.5 µm in diameter and 0.75-0.90 µm thick, composed of a homogenous material with moderate electron density. The oocyst is of an ellipsoidal shape and is 15.6 ± 0.6 µm long and 11.1 ± 0.7 µm wide. Externally, the oocyst wall is surrounded by a complex dense network of numerous anastomosed microfibrils, which are attached to the oocyst wall, forming 2-3 layers and extending towards the periphery, at some points penetrating amongst the host cells. The myofibrils in some cases show evident aspects of lysis as a consequence of the appearance of lysosome-like vesicles. Lacking knowledge of a complete life cycle and/or molecular data precluded the conclusive identification of this species.
Received: December 31, 2011; Accepted: March 9, 2012; Published: June 1, 2012