AskDefine | Define merozoite

Dictionary Definition

merozoite n : a cell that arises from the asexual division of a parent sporozoan during its life cycle

Extensive Definition

A merozoite (G. meros, part [of a series], +zoon, animal) is a daughter cell of a protozoan parasite. Merozoites are the result of asexual reproduction (schizogony, merogony). In coccidiosis, merozoites form the first phase of the internal life cycle of coccidian.
In malaria, these spores infect red blood cells and then rapidly reproduce asexually. These merozoites then can break and destroy the red blood cell hosts and infect others. Antimalarial drugs can cure these infections.
merozoite in Spanish: Merozoito
merozoite in French: Mérozoïte
merozoite in Italian: Merozoite
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