Taxonomy: Class Blastocystea
Animal: Blastocystis hominis 3 23.jpg
Sites: Gut
Blastocystis hominis cyst form with detached surface coat. The cysts arises from avacuolar forms in the colon, are about 5 microns wide, usually one (occ. up to 4) nucleus with a crescentic band of chromatin, thick cyst wall and very small vacuoles. It is shedding its thick fibrillar surface coat which covers the other forms of Blastocystis and may act as a mechanical and chemical protection against host responses - the cyst wall may develop under this surface coat which is shed on maturation of the cyst. The cyst wall may protect the organism from the harsh external environment. This may be the transmissible stage but this has not been proven (EM by Deb Stenzel).

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