Volume 69, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


drug sensitivity assay is an important tool for various on-going studies aiming to establish the correlation between candidate molecular markers for drug resistance and drug response in laboratory-adapted strains and field isolates of . A widespread use of this technique in the field would require a suitable substitute that can replace human serum. In this study, several alternative sources of serum substitutes and supplements were evaluated for their capacity to sustain parasite growth for a single life cycle and their compatibility with assays for clinical isolates that have not been adapted to culture. Albumax, a commercial preparation of lipid-enriched bovine albumin, did not support parasite growth as much as human serum and fetal calf serum in several isolates. Other serum supplements (AmnioMax and Ultroser) supported parasite growth relatively well. The 50% inhibitory concentrations (ICs) of chloroquine and antifolates determined with 0.05% Albumax were generally two or three times higher than with human serum. With 10% fetal calf serum, ICs for chloroquine and antifolates were approximately two times higher and three times lower than with human serum, respectively. The use of AmnioMax and OptiMAb resulted in a greater than two-fold increase in ICs and several uninterpretable assays. Despite possible batch-to-batch differences, fetal calf serum may be a suitable substitute for drug assays while awaiting the results of further studies on other serum substitutes and supplements.


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  • Received : 07 Sep 2002
  • Accepted : 26 Apr 2003

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