One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A motile sporelike stage in the life cycle of some parasitic sporozoans (e.g., the malaria organism) that is typically the infective agent introduced into a host.
- ‘The sporozoites released from the oocyst reproduce asexually within cells, producing merozoites that burst from those cells, each to infect a new cell.’
- ‘The sporozoites migrate to the salivary glands and are inoculated into a new vertebrate host when the mosquito feeds.’
- ‘Meiotic division then gives rise to haploid cells that develop into infective sporozoites, which migrate to the mosquito salivary glands and infect humans during mosquito blood-feeding.’
- ‘Tissue damage to the host's liver, kidney, spleen, lungs, or other organs can occur when the vector injects sporozoites that enter host cells to develop into meronts.’
- ‘Oocytes ingested from contaminated soil or other sources excyst in the duodenum, and released sporozoites invade the intestine.’
Late 19th century: from sporo- ‘relating to spores’ + Greek zoion ‘animal’ + -ite.
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