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Epidemiology and Pathology

Toxoplasma gondii is an obligatory intracellular, but extracytoplasmic protozoan parasite. Within the cell, a tiny parasitophorous vacuole is formed; here the parasite lives in a unique environment which characterizes this and other parasites of the phylum Apicomplexa (Fig. 45.1).

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Fig. 45.1 A Impression smear demonstrating several tachyzoites with one organism dividing (arrow). Giemsa stain, x750. (B) Transmission electron microgragh (TEM) of tachyzoides within a parasitophorous vacuolte (arrow). The parasite is intracellular but extracytoplasmic. x 18000. (Courtesy of Dr. J. Dubey, Beltsville, Maryland).

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