How Do Sporozoans Move?

sporozoans-move Credit: Dea Picture Library/De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images

Sporozoa, being parasitic, lack locomotor appendages and as a result move by minute contractions of small contractile fibrils. This motion was previously accredited to the organisms sliding on a mucus secretion.

The term sporozoa was coined in 1971, grouping the apicomplexa and several other types of cell together. The name came from the infectious stage called the sporozoite, which has three distinct structures in the apical complex called the conoid, the rhoptry and the micronemes. That grouping is no longer valid so the sporozoa are now called apicomplexa. These cells are specialized parasites. They contain organelles that are designed to penetrate host cells and tissues. The sporozoa feed in two ways. They either absorb dissolved nutrients that have been ingested by the host, or they consume the host itself, either by eating the host cells or the fluids of the organism. These parascitic cells can live in almost any animal or human. They can even exist in other apicomplexan. The species in this phylum include the parasites that cause malaria and coccidiosis. The sporozoa reproduce both sexual and asexually, with sexual production coming before spore production. A sexual reproduction is by binary fission or even multiple fission. All members of this phylum go through an infectious stage.