Volume 31, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Confirmation of the existence of a persistent, uninucleate, dormant pre-erythrocytic stage, the hypnozoite, of the relapsing simian malaria parasite, , has been obtained by means of experiments involving the intravenous injection into susceptible monkeys of 48 to 85 × 10 sporozoites derived from mosquitoes of a different species and source than employed previously. The development of these hypnozoites was traced from 3 days until 105 days after sporozoite inoculation, employing a sensitive immunofluorescence technique followed by restaining with Giemsa. From an average mean diameter of 4 µm at 3 and 5 days, uninucleate hypnozoites grow to 5 µm at 7 days, then persist with little change until at least 105 days after infection. Strong evidence for the viability of these persistent forms was obtained by treatment of a host monkey with primaquine, which eliminated all trace of hypnozoites present 2 weeks before.

Examination of hepatic tissue from a monkey injected with sporozoites 36 and 40 hours earlier revealed rare uninucleate pre-erythrocytic forms of 2.5-µm diameter. These early forms were present in hepatocytes in a density only approximately 1/30th of that expected on the basis of numbers of pre-erythrocytic stages found in the same animal's liver 7 days after infection. Nevertheless, subinoculation experiments appeared to rule out the circulation as a vehicle for dissemination of any putative early intermediate hepatotropic forms from another site.


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  • Accepted : 30 Jun 1981

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