toxoplasma gondii: sporozoan causing toxoplasmosis
What they are - biological definition
Sporozoans are endoparasites that have a complex life cycle, that is, they go through various stages during intracellular development. They have this name because they have special spores inside. These microorganisms are members of the Protist Kingdom.
Main characteristics of sporozoans:
- Reproduction occurs by multiple asexual division.
- They do not have structures in the body aimed at locomotion. This occurs through sliding or flexing of the body.
- Feeding occurs through absorption or pinocytosis (via active transport across the plasma membrane).
- In sporozoan life cycles, sporozoites appear within spores.
- They do not have contractile vacuoles.
Examples of sporozoans:
- Plasmodium malariae
- Plasmodium falciparum
- Toxoplasma gondii
- Eimeria maxima
Major diseases caused by sporozoans in humans:
- Malaria, caused by sporozoan plasmodium.
- Toxoplasmosis, caused by sporozoan toxoplasma gondii.
- There are cataloged about five thousand species of sporozoans.
- Because they are microorganisms, sporozoans cannot be viewed with the naked eye, but only with the aid of a microscope.