29 Trypanosomes

Michelle To and Valentin Villatoro

Images of peripheral blood smears showing C shaped trypanosomes (center). From MLS Collection, University of Alberta.

Image 1: 50x oil immersion. https://doi.org/10.7939/R3QZ22Z5K

Image 2: 100x oil immersion. https://doi.org/10.7939/R3M61C52N



Hemoflagellates that are often visualized using Giemsa stain during screening of thin and thick smears, though they are visible by regular Romanowsky staining procedures.1


Trypomastigotes appear C or U shaped in the peripheral blood, usually seen extracellular to the red blood cells.2



The Reduviid bug (“kissing bug”) carries Trypanosoma cruzi in it’s gut where it matures. During a blood meal, the Reduviid bug releases T.cruzi via feces onto the feeding sites or mucous membranes where it can cause infection in the bloodstream.2


Trypanosoma cruzi is the causative agent of Chagas Disease.2


1. Rodak BF, Carr JH. Microorganisms. In: Clinical hematology atlas. 5th ed. St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier Inc.; 2017. p. 195-202.

2. Ahmad N, Drew WL, Lagunoff M, Pottinger P, Reller LB, Sterling CR. Sarcomastigophora-the amebas. In: Ryan KJ, Ray CG, editors. Sherris medical microbiology. 6th ed. McGraw-Hill Education; 2014. p. 823-44.


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Trypanosomes Copyright © 2019 by Michelle To and Valentin Villatoro is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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