Leishmania mexicana parasites in the amastigote stage, SEM

  • University of Oxford, Richard Wheeler
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Leishmania mexicana parasites in the amastigote stage, SEM. University of Oxford, Richard Wheeler. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). Source: Wellcome Collection.

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Scanning electron micrograph of Leishmania mexicana parasites. Leishmania mexicana is a unicellular eukaryotic parasite, and is one of the species of Leishmania that causes the disease Leishmaniasis. It is sometimes called the "flesh eating parasite" because of the skin lesions it can cause. These cells are in the amastigote life cycle stage; the life cycle stage normally found inside macrophages (a type of white blood cell) inside a person. Leishmania parasites are transmitted through the bite of an infected sandfly. Each parasite is 3-4 micrometres long and 1-2 micrometres wide. The cell body has been pseudo-coloured green/blue, and the extremely short flagellum has been pseudo-coloured orange/red.

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