a1 Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic
a2 Institute of Histology and Embryology, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic
Psychodiella sergenti is a recently described specific pathogen of the sand fly Phlebotomus sergenti, the main vector of Leishmania tropica. The aim of this study was to examine the life cycle of Ps. sergenti in various developmental stages of the sand fly host. The microscopical methods used include scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and light microscopy of native preparations and histological sections stained with periodic acid-Schiff reaction. Psychodiella sergenti oocysts were observed on the chorion of sand fly eggs. In 1st instar larvae, sporozoites were located in the ectoperitrophic space of the intestine. No intracellular stages were found. In 4th instar larvae, Ps. sergenti was mostly located in the ectoperitrophic space of the intestine of the larvae before defecation and in the intestinal lumen of the larvae after defecation. In adults, the parasite was recorded in the body cavity, where the sexual development was triggered by a bloodmeal intake. Psychodiella sergenti has several unique features. It develops sexually exclusively in sand fly females that took a bloodmeal, and its sporozoites bear a distinctive conoid (about 700 nm long), which is more than 4 times longer than conoids of the mosquito gregarines.
(Received October 01 2011)
(Revised November 17 2011)
(Accepted November 18 2011)
(Online publication February 08 2012)