parasitic amoeba flagellate of game birds causing "blackhead",
an often fatal condition in which the comb of fowl turns necrotic.
The organism is present as a flagellate (one to four flagella) in the
bird's gut, but as an amoeba in the liver and other organs. Cells are
shed in faeces so infecting other birds in enclosed conditions.
This amoeba, like Dientamoeba fragilis, also can be
spread by its ability to infect a nematode, in the case of Histomonas
meleagris, the nematode is Heterakis gallinae (Jahn
& Jahn, 1949).
Dientamoeba fragilis is carried in eggs of the
slightly pathogenic nematode Enterobius