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Exp Parasitol. 2000 Aug;95(4):253-64.

Development of a serum-free system for the in vitro cultivation of Brugia malayi infective-stage larvae.

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Department of Pathology, University of Connecticut Health Center, 263 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, Connecticut, 06030-3105, USA.


Over the past several years, numerous attempts have been made to culture the infective-stage (L3) larvae of the human filarial parasite Brugia malayi in an in vitro system that promotes molting to the fourth larval stage (L4). Although there have been reports in the literature of successful L3 to L4 development in vitro, all of these systems have required serum supplementation. The complexity of serum as a culture supplement has made reproducibility of results and identification of specific factors necessary for L3 development problematic. We have developed a serum-free in vitro system consisting of RPMI 1640 supplemented with one of three fatty acids (arachidonic, linoleic, or linolenic) that supports consistent and reproducible molting to the fourth larval stage in the presence of a basidiomycetous yeast, Rhodotorula minuta. Coculture with this yeast, initially isolated as a culture contaminant, is required for successful molting. In serum-free cultures lacking R. minuta, L3 larvae survive for upward of 2 weeks, but do not molt successfully. The L4 larvae generated in cultures containing R. minuta are well formed, as seen by light and electron microscopy, and are capable of further development upon transfer to a permissive host. This culture system is inexpensive and easily reproducible, thus making it a useful tool for studying the requirements for the development of B. malayi L3.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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