Cultivation of Plasmodium falciparum Parasites in a Serum-Free Medium

Ayub V. O. OfullaBiomedical Sciences Research Center, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Department of Hematology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Clinical Research Center, Kenya Medical Research Institute, United States Army Medical Research Unit-Kenya, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Nairobi, Kenya

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Vincent C. N. OkoyeBiomedical Sciences Research Center, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Department of Hematology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Clinical Research Center, Kenya Medical Research Institute, United States Army Medical Research Unit-Kenya, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Nairobi, Kenya

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Baldip KhanBiomedical Sciences Research Center, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Department of Hematology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Clinical Research Center, Kenya Medical Research Institute, United States Army Medical Research Unit-Kenya, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Nairobi, Kenya

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John I. GithureBiomedical Sciences Research Center, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Department of Hematology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Clinical Research Center, Kenya Medical Research Institute, United States Army Medical Research Unit-Kenya, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Nairobi, Kenya

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Clifford R. RobertsBiomedical Sciences Research Center, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Department of Hematology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Clinical Research Center, Kenya Medical Research Institute, United States Army Medical Research Unit-Kenya, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Nairobi, Kenya

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Anthony J. JohnsonBiomedical Sciences Research Center, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Department of Hematology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Clinical Research Center, Kenya Medical Research Institute, United States Army Medical Research Unit-Kenya, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Nairobi, Kenya

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Samuel K. MartinBiomedical Sciences Research Center, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Department of Hematology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Clinical Research Center, Kenya Medical Research Institute, United States Army Medical Research Unit-Kenya, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Nairobi, Kenya

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The elimination of serum from Plasmodium falciparum culture media could decrease costs, enhance procurement, and improve the feasibility of large-scale production of parasite material. We provide a semi-defined, serum-free formulation, of commercially available constituents that supports P. falciparum parasite growth at rates comparable with those obtained with serum-supplemented media. The medium is composed of RPMI 1640 to which HEPES, extra glucose, bicarbonate, and hypoxanthine have been added. Bovine albumin and serum-derived, lipids-cholesterol-rich mixture are then used in place of serum.

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