Synchronization of Plasmodium Falciparum in Continuous in Vitro Culture: Use of Colchicine

George S. N. HuiDepartment of Tropical Medicine and Medical Microbiology, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii 96816

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Kevin L. PalmerDepartment of Tropical Medicine and Medical Microbiology, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii 96816

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Wasim A. SiddiquiDepartment of Tropical Medicine and Medical Microbiology, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii 96816

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Cultures of Plasmodium falciparum with parasitemias of 3–5% were exposed to 4 mM colchicine for 24 hours. Synchrony was observed 48 hours after treatment, and the cultures remained synchronous for more than two replicative cycles. The percentage of ring stage parasites reached peaks of over 90% at 72 and 120 hours. The percentage of schizonts reached a peak of 70% at 144 hours. Parasitemias in both colchicine-treated and untreated control cultures reached peaks of over 20% 120 hours after colchicine treatment.

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