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

English

Noun

  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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