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  • Open Access

Cytochemical techniques and energy-filtering transmission electron microscopy applied to the study of parasitic protozoa

Biological Procedures Online3:31008

  • Received: 29 May 2001
  • Accepted: 30 July 2001


The study of parasitic protozoa plays a major role in cell biology, biochemistry and molecular biology. Numerous cytochemical techniques have been developed in order to unequivocally identify the nature of subcellular compartments. Enzyme and immuno-cytochemistry allow the detection of, respectively, enzymatic activity products and antigens in particular sites within the cell. Energy-filtering transmission electron microscopy permits the detection of specific elements within such compartments. These approaches are particularly useful for studies employing antimicrobial agents where cellular compartments may be destroyed or remarkably altered and thus hardly identified by standard methods of observation. In this regard cytochemical and spectroscopic techniques provide valuable data allowing the determination of the mechanisms of action of such compounds.

Indexing terms

  • Parasitology
  • microbiology
  • histochemistry
  • endocytosis
  • cell compartmentation