Infestation of male ilsterias rubens L. by the ciliate Orchitophrya stellarum Cepede results in testis regres- sion and asteroid castration. Ciliates disorganize the germinal epithelium and phagocytise germ cells. Infested testes are massively invaded by the host's phagocytic cells which also phagocytize germ cells. It is suggested that the phagocytic cells do not react against invading ciliates but against host tissues damaged by the parasites.
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