Parasitology, Harold W. Manter Laboratory of


Date of this Version

February 1991


Published in the Journal of Parasitology, v. 77, no. 1 (1991): 52-57. Copyright 1991, the American Society of Parasitologists. Used by permission.


Fresh (36 days old) sporulated oocysts of Eimeria nieschulzi were divided into 7 groups. Control oocysts were maintained at 23 C in 2% aqueous (w/v) K[sub 2]Cr[sub 2]O [sub 7]. The 6 experimental groups were mixed with either Bouin's solution, 10% aqueous (v/v) buffered formalin, Karnovsky's solution, glutaraldehyde, paraformaldehyde, or 70% aqueous (v/v) ethanol (EtOH). After 115 days, oocysts from all 7 groups were examined under oil immersion to determine the effect of fixation on their structural integrity. The parameters examined were lengths and widths of oocysts and sporocysts, percent sporulation (%S), and percent crenation (%C) of oocysts and sporocysts. The highest destruction (%S and %C) occurred in oocysts exposed to glutaraldehyde and Kamovsky's fixatives where 100% of both oocysts and sporocysts crenated and only 8% and 48%, respectively, remained sporulated. Of the oocysts in paraformaldehyde, 93% remained sporulated, but 95% of these oocysts and 100% of the sporocysts crenated. In Bouin's solution, 75% of the oocysts were intact structurally, but of these, only 60% were still sporulated with 70% of their sporocysts crenated. Oocysts preserved in 70% EtOH were 80% intact and 70% remained sporulated, but nearly 60% of their sporocysts collapsed even though the oocyst walls were intact. Oocysts preserved in 10% buffered formalin maintained structural integrity but had lower numbers of sporulated oocysts (84%) and greater numbers of crenated oocysts (18%) than control oocysts maintained in the dichromate solution (95% and 0%, respectively).

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