The morphology and behavior of living exoerythrocytic stages of Plasmodium gallinaceum and P. fallax were studied by the use of tissue cultures, phase contrast microscopy, and time-lapse cinephotomicrography. The morphology of exoerythrocytic stages of these two species was essentially that previously observed in fixed, stained material, with the following exceptions: (1) the presence of a filament on one end of the merozoite, (2) the absence of clefts in the cytoplasm of the large schizonts, and (3) the absence of a vacuole-like space around the parasite.
The following behavior was observed either directly or in time-lapse sequences: (1) emergence of merozoites from mature schizonts, (2) progressive motility of free merozoites, (3) entry of merozoites, both actively and passively, into host cells, (4) nuclear division in the parasite, (5) the various stages of schizogony, including final production of merozoites, (6) massive infection of host cells, and (7) phagocytosis of merozoites and attempted phagocytosis of mature schizonts by macrophages.
Exoerythrocytic stages of P. fallax differed from those of P. gallinaceum in that the merozoites of the former were (1) somewhat more curved in shape and (2) present in fewer numbers in mature schizonts.
The use of tissue culture, phase contrast microscopy, and time-lapse cinephotomicrography promises to solve many of the remaining problems concerning exoerythrocytic stages of malarial parasites and their interrelationships with host cells.