The life cycle of Hepatozoon hemprichi n. sp. is described; the vertebrate host is Scincus hemprichii and it is vectored by Hyalomma impeltatum. Erythrocytic stages of 18 ± 1.8 × 4 ± 0.8 µm developed in the hemocoel of ticks to sporozoites within 16–18 days. Schizogony occurred in the liver parenchyma and the endothelial cells of blood capillaries in lung and spleen. Mature schizonts measuring 27 ± 3.11 × 20.13 ± 3.0 µm produced 28 merozoites (on average). The merozoites were 13 ± 1.21 × 1.21 ± 0.72 µm with nuclei 5 ± 0.65 × 2.1 ± 0.51 µm. Syzygy and differentiation of gamonts took place in tick's hemocoel up to the third day post-infection (PI). The microgamont (16 ± 0.31 × 18 ± 0.42 µm) produced 4, uniflagellated microgametes at 4–5 days PI. The microgamete measured 15.2 ± 0.31 µm while the flagellum was always at least 26 µm. The macrogamete was very large in size (31 ± 3.11 µm) with a central nucleus. After fertilization, (5–6 days PI) zygotes developed into oocysts (55 ± 3.41 × 52 ± 4.11 µm) in which repeated mitotic divisions with centripetal invaginations occurred; each contained 18 banana-shaped sporozoites, 13.61 ± 0.8 × 1.2 ± 0.31 µm in size. Experimental transmission was successfully carried out by oral administration or by intra-peritoneal inoculation of the infective stages (sporozoites) to uninfected skinks and led to the appearance of blood stages after 5 wk and 4 wk, respectively.
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Vol. 97 • No. 5