A comparison of Giardia microti and Spironucleus muris cysts in the vole: an immunocytochemical, light, and electron microscopic study.

M. M. Januschka, S. L. Erlandsen, W. J. Bemrick, D. G. Schupp, D. E. Feely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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We have shown that cysts of the genus Spironucleus share many common morphological features with Giardia cysts including: 2-4 nuclei, flagellar axonemes, a distinct cyst wall, and they even display the same immunostaining as Giardia cysts when labeled with antibodies specific for Giardia cyst wall. A direct comparison of Spironucleus muris and Giardia microti cysts have revealed that cysts of S. muris are significantly smaller than cysts of G. miroti. At the ultrastructural level, the cyst walls are similar in fibrillar appearance, but the width of the S. muris cyst wall is significantly less than that of G. microti. The cysts of S. muris also differ from G. microti in that they contain a striated rootlet fiber, flagellar sheath, and numerous glycogen rosettes. Characteristic features of Giardia include the adhesive disc and median body. Although the cysts of Spironucleus and Giardia are similar in appearance, these unique morphological features can be used to distinguish between the 2 protozoa and should be employed in the detection of Giardia cysts in water samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)452-458
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of parasitology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1988


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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