Riboflavin was found to be essential for the cultivation of axenic Entamoeba histolytica. This is the first demonstration of a flavin requirement by the organism. Panmede, the principal source of flavins in the axenic medium, was treated with activated carbon to remove flavins. Medium made with this flavin-deficient Panmede, and supplemented with ribonucleic acid failed to support the multiplication of amebae in serial subculture, but did so when riboflavin was added. The concentration of riboflavin required to achieve maximal growth was about 1.3 µg per ml medium. Studies on riboflavin uptake revealed that amebae lack a high-affinity transport system for this vitamin. The rate of riboflavin uptake was equivalent to the rate of pinocytotic uptake of fluid as previously determined.
Holder of a fellowship from the National Science Council, Republic of China. Present address: Department of Parasitology, National Defense Medical Center, P.O. Box 8244, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.