Giardia muris: scanning electron microscopy of in vitro excystation

Exp Parasitol. 1984 Feb;57(1):62-7. doi: 10.1016/0014-4894(84)90063-8.


A recently developed in vitro excystation procedure results in almost total excystation of Giardia muris, an intestinal parasite of mice. The present experiment examines the G. muris cyst morphology by scanning electron microscopy and the efficacy of the excystation procedure. Untreated cysts of G. muris were elliptical and displayed a distinctive surface structure. Excystation began almost immediately after incubation had begun and most trophozoites emerged within 30 min. Excystation appears to involve flagellar action of the encysted trophozoite. A tear of the wall occurred at one pole. This opening was subsequently enlarged, presumably by flagellar action. Trophozoites emerged, posterior end first, and an associated mucoid-like material was extruded. Newly emerged trophozoites were nearly oval in shape. Trophozoites quickly became flattened, elongate, and underwent cytokinesis resulting in two daughter trophozoites. Few organisms not excysted were seen after 30 min incubation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division
  • Flagella / ultrastructure
  • Giardia / physiology
  • Giardia / ultrastructure*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning