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J Commun Dis. 2000 Dec;32(4):289-94.

Successful replacement of fetal calf serum with human urine for in vitro culture of Leishmania donovani.

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Dept. of Laboratory Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi-110 029, India.


Leishmania donovani causes visceral leishmaniasis claiming several thousand lives every year in Indian sub-continent. The etiological agent is grown in cell free media supplemented with fetal calf serum (FCS). Urine from human beings and other mammalian species has also been reported to stimulate growth of Leishmania species No study has been carried out Leishmania donovani. Therefore, we studied the feasibility of culturing Leishmania donovani promastigotes in M199 medium supplemented with 10% human urine and compared the phenotypic and genotypic characters under supplementation with urine vis-a-vis FCS. The growth curve showed no significant difference in the promastigote counts in urine vs. FCS supplementation. The best growth was observed in cultures supplemented with the post-menopausal urine. No difference in antigenic bands and RFLP pattern was seen indicating that no alteration occurred in strain specific characters of the parasites cultured with human urine.

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