Definition: developmental stage of the malaria parasite (Plasmodium) in liver parenchyma cells of the vertebrate host before erythrocytes are invaded. The initial generation produces cryptozoites, the next generation metacryptozoites; reinfection of liver cells from blood cells apparently does not occur. Delayed development of the sporozoite (hypnozoite) of Plasmodium vivax and P. ovale appears to be responsible for malarial relapse that may occur with these disease agents.
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