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Infect Immun. Nov 1990; 58(11): 3516–3522.
PMCID: PMC313691

Excystation of in vitro-derived Giardia lamblia cysts.


This is the first in-depth analysis of the excystation of Giardia lamblia cysts prepared in vitro. Its goals were both to achieve efficient excystation and to gain insights into this crucial but poorly understood process. To identify the critical elements of excystation, we tested the sequential low-pH induction and protease treatments which had been reported to be important for excystation of fecal cysts. The optimal pH for induction of excystation was 4.0. Emergence was greatly (approximately 10-fold) stimulated by subsequent exposure of in vitro-derived cysts to chymotrypsin, trypsin, or human pancreatic fluid. The stimulatory activity of each was abolished by soybean trypsin inhibitor, demonstrating that the activity of pancreatic fluid was due to these proteases. Excystation of in vitro-derived cysts was approximately 10 to 38%. Although the walls of in vitro-derived cysts were partially digested by protease treatment, trophozoites emerged only from one pole, as observed with fecal cysts. The conditions of encystation also determined the efficiency of excystation. Specifically, encystation in the presence of lactic acid, a major metabolite of colonic bacteria, stimulated excystation approximately fourfold, although it did not increase the total numbers of cysts. These experiments have shown that excystation of in vitro-derived cysts reflects that of cysts purified from human feces in that it is dependent upon conditions which simulate the passage of cysts through the human stomach (low pH) and into the small intestine (pancreatic proteases).

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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