Complete Development of Mosquito Phases of the Malaria Parasite in Vitro

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Science  25 Jan 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5555, pp. 677-679
DOI: 10.1126/science.1067159

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Methods for reproducible in vitro development of the mosquito stages of malaria parasites to produce infective sporozoites have been elusive for over 40 years. We have cultured gametocytes ofPlasmodium berghei through to infectious sporozoites with efficiencies similar to those recorded in vivo and without the need for salivary gland invasion. Oocysts developed extracellularly in a system whose essential elements include co-cultured Drosophila S2 cells, basement membrane matrix, and insect tissue culture medium. Sporozoite production required the presence of para-aminobenzoic acid. The entire life cycle of P. berghei, a useful model malaria parasite, can now be achieved in vitro.

  • * Current address: Department of Parasitology, Biomedical Primate Research Centre, Lange Kleineg 139, Post Office Box 3306, 2280 GH Rijswijk, Netherlands.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: h.hurd{at}

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