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Abstract

An in vitro model was developed to study the hepatic phase of Plasmodium falciparum, the only malaria parasite lethal to man. Primary cultures of human hepatocytes were inoculated with sporozoites of Brazilian and African strains of P. falciparum. On days 1 through 7 after inoculation examination of fluorescence-labeled and Giemsa-stained preparations demonstrated the presence of many intracellular parasites. In three separate sets of experiments all cultures were found to be infected with as many as 650 liver schizonts measuring up to 40 micrometers. After the addition of red blood cells, intraerythrocytic forms of P. falciparum were detected on days 12 and 13 by an immunofluorescence assay, indicating that the hepatic cycle had been completed in vitro.

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