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Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
(unranked) Excavata
Phylum: Euglenozoa
Class: Kinetoplastea
Order: Trypanosomatida
Genus: Crithidia

Crithidia are members of the trypanosome protozoa. They are parasites that exclusively parasitise arthropods, mainly insects. They pass from host to host as cysts in infective faeces and typically, the parasites develop in the digestive tracts of insects and interact with the intestinal epithelium using their flagellum. They display very low host-specificity and a single parasite can infect a large range of invertebrate hosts [1]. At different points in its life-cycle, it passes through amastigote, promastigote, and epimastigote phases; the last is particularly characteristic, and similar stages in other trypanosomes are often called crithidial.

Crithidia bombi is perhaps the most well documented species and is a parasite of bumblebees. Other species include C. fasciculata,C. deanei, C. desouzai, C. oncopelti, C. guilhermei and C. luciliae. C. deanei is atypical of the Crithidia genus, and it has been argued not a member of the Crithidia at all. It is also not typical of trypanosomatids because of its unusual shape and it harbours endosymbiotic bacteria [2].


  1. ^ Boulanger et al. (2001) Immune response of Drosophila melanogaster to infection of the flagellate parasite Crithidia spp. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  2. ^ Camargo et al. (1992) Ribosomal DNA restriction analysis and synthetic oligonucleotide probing in the identification of genera of lower trypanosomatids The Journal of Parasitology
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Crithidia". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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