Light and electron microscopic observations on the development of Babesia bigemina in larvae, nymphae and non-replete females of Boophilus decoloratus

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In Boophilus decoloratus infected by transovarian passage with B. bigemina, primary schizogony occurred as a continuous repetitive process in all 3 stages of the tick's life cycle spent on the host. The primary schizonts and the large merozoites (= vermicules) produced by them were observed in the gut epithelium, haemocytes, muscles and peritracheal cells. Secondary schizogony which led to the formation of small merozoites (= infective forms) occurred mainly in the salivary glands, but was also observed in the cortex of the synganglion. Mature small merozoites were observed in nymphal and adult ticks only. An infective stabilate was prepared from nymphae collected on Day 14 and Day 15 post larval infestation. The infections resulting from intravenous injection of the stabilate had a prepatent period of 8 days.