AskDefine | Define sporozoite

Dictionary Definition

sporozoite n : one of the minute active bodies into which sporozoans divide in one stage of their life cycle

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Any of the minute active bodies into which a sporozoan divides just before it infects a new host cell.

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

In the life-cycle of apicomplexan protozoa, sporozoites (sporos, seed + zoon, animal) are cells that infect new hosts. In the parasites that cause malaria (Plasmodium), for instance, the sporozoites are cells that develop in the mosquito's salivary glands, leave the mosquito during a blood meal, and enter the liver where they multiply. Cells infected with sporozoites eventually burst, releasing merozoites into the bloodstream.
Sporozoites are formed by sporogony, a type of sexual or asexual reproduction by multiple fission of a spore or zygote, characteristic of many sporozoans.
sporozoite in Spanish: Esporozoito
sporozoite in French: Sporozoïte
sporozoite in Swedish: Sporozoit
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