Leptomonas wallacei is a monoxenic trypanosomatid that colonizes the digestive tract of the phytophagous hemipteran Oncopeltus fasciatus. This infection was specific and took place exclusively in midgut intestinal ventricles V3 and V4, and in the hindgut. Abundances of parasites in the hindgut were 54% less than those in the hindgut. Parasites in the hindgut were more slender and had a longer flagellum than those from the hindgut, which were rounded, with a shorter flagellum. Moreover, hindgut forms expressed sugar residues on the cell surface, recognized by the lectins from Griffonia simplicifolia-I (α-galactose, α-N-acetyl-galactosamine) and Helix pomatia (N-acetyl-galactosamine); those sugar residues were not present in protozoa from the midgut. In culture, parasites were morphologically similar to midgut forms, but differed from them because they did not express sugar residues that bind to lectin (β-galactose(1-3) N-acetyl-galactosamine) from Arachis hypogaea.
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Vol. 50 • No. 6