Trypanosoma granulosum, a flagellate protozoon commonly found in the blood of the European eel Anguilla anguilla, was injected experimentally into uninfected eels purchased from a local farm. In order to investigate the infectivity of different stages in the life cycle, trypanosomes from various sources were used for inoculation. Infectivity was greatly reduced in in vitro culture stages inoculated at 20 C. Isolated bloodstream stages injected into groups of animals held at 12 and 20 C could be detected for over 70 days but did not appear to multiply. Naturally infected Hemiclepsis marginata, a piscivorous leech known to serve as vector, produced detectable, single-peak infections in eels held at 20 C. Infections were characterized by a prepatent stage and a phase of rising parasitemia. Peak infection intensities ranged between 1 and 7 × 104 trypanosomes/ml. Trypanosomes in the bloodstream of eels experimentally infected with leeches, divided at a very low rate during the early stages of infection. Small morphs present during the early phase of rising parasitemia were gradually replaced by larger trypanosomes. The overall length frequency distribution of trypanosomes was unimodal.
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