Letter | Published:

Cultivation of Histomonas meleagridis from the Liver Lesions of a Hen

Nature volume 139, pages 370371 (27 February 1937) | Download Citation



BLACKHEAD (entero-hepatitis), a widespread and generally fatal disease of turkeys, was attributed to a protozoon, Amæba meleagridis, by Theobald Smith1. Later, Tyzzer confirmed its presence in cæcal lesions and renamed it Histomonas (gen. nov.) meleagridis Smith2. Although there is no difficulty in infecting young chickens experimentally with H. meleagridis (Tyzzer3) the disease produced is not severe, and the chickens soon recover clinically, though they may remain carriers, passing Protozoa in their fæces, for long periods. Theobald Smith4 saw Amæba (= Histomonas) meleagridis in liver sections from diseased fowls, and Tyzzer5 found similar lesions in a two-year-old hen. Although Drbohlav6 and afterwards Tyzzer7 cultivated Histomonas meleagridis from the cæcal discharges of experimentally infected chickens, all attempts to cultivate the parasite from diseased tissues from either turkeys or chickens failed (Tyzzer7).

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  1. 1.

    , Bull. U.S. Dep. Agric., 8, 7 (1895).

  2. 2.

    , J. Parasit., 6, 124 (1920).

  3. 3.

    , J. Med. Res., 44, 676 (1924).

  4. 4.

    , J. Med. Res., 33, 243 (1915).

  5. 5.

    , J. Med. Res., 40, 1 (1919).

  6. 6.

    , J. Med. Res., 44, 677 (1924).

  7. 7.

    , Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts and Sci., 69, 191 (1934).

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  1. Molteno Institute, University, Cambridge. Feb. 2.

    • H. P. BAYON
    •  & ANN BISHOP


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