Leishmania in Primary Cultures of Human Amniotic Cells

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  • Department of Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 25 Shattuck Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02115
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The behavior of three strains of human Leishmania (L. donovani, two strains; L. braziliensis pifanoi, one strain) was studied in cell cultures prepared from human amniotic membranes. Low temperature of incubation and the presence of fetal-bovine serum in the fluid medium tended to favor the intracellular localization of elongate parasites, but also permitted multiplication of extracellular leptomonads. Higher temperature or substitution of horse serum in the medium was deleterious to leptomonads and induced the intracellular parasites to assume a leishmanial form; with time, however, the infection disappeared, leaving an apparently normal cell sheet.