Definition: The motile infective stage of sporozoan protozoa that results from schizogony or a similar type of asexual reproduction; endodyogeny or endopolygeny. Merozoites form at the surface of schizonts, blastophores, or invaginations into schizonts, and are responsible for the vast reproductive powers of sporozoan parasites; this is seen in human malaria, where the cyclic production of merozoites produces the typical fever and chill syndrome.
[mero- + G. zoon, animal]
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