Gregarines are common parasites of insects in culture, but no effective chemotherapeutic or prophylactic control protocol has been demonstrated. Sulfadimethoxine was administered in 5- and 7-day treatments to Death's Head cockroaches (Blaberus discoidalis) infected with Gregarina cubensis and Protomagalhaensia granulosae to test the efficacy of this sulfonamide against gregarine infection. Sulfadimethoxine significantly reduced the mean intensity of both G. cubensis and P. granulosae. Sulfadimethoxine treatment reduced gregarine intensity by 80% to 85% but had no significant effect on gametocyst production, suggesting that sulfonamide toxicity is directed primarily at sporozoites, trophozoites, and perhaps young gamonts. The possible use of sulfadimethoxine to produce gregarine-free insect cultures and the potential utility of gregarines as target organisms for screening pharmacologically active compounds for use against other intestinal apicomplexans are discussed.
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