Complete Development of the Liver Stage of Plasmodium falciparum in a Human Hepatoma Cell Line

Chitraporn Karnasuta Department of Medicine, and Department of Immunology and Parasitology, U.S. Army Medical Component, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Cell Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

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Katchrinnee Pavanand Department of Medicine, and Department of Immunology and Parasitology, U.S. Army Medical Component, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Cell Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

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Somsak Chantakulkij Department of Medicine, and Department of Immunology and Parasitology, U.S. Army Medical Component, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Cell Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

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Napaporn Luttiwongsakorn Department of Medicine, and Department of Immunology and Parasitology, U.S. Army Medical Component, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Cell Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

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Maneerat Rassamesoraj Department of Medicine, and Department of Immunology and Parasitology, U.S. Army Medical Component, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Cell Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

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Kingkarn Laohathai Department of Medicine, and Department of Immunology and Parasitology, U.S. Army Medical Component, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Cell Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

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H. Kyle Webster Department of Medicine, and Department of Immunology and Parasitology, U.S. Army Medical Component, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Cell Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

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George Watt Department of Medicine, and Department of Immunology and Parasitology, U.S. Army Medical Component, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Cell Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

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Plasmodium falciparum parasites develop in the liver before being released into the bloodstream, where they exert the potentially lethal effects characteristic of malaria. Our understanding of the hepatic phase of the life cycle is limited by the parasite's requirement for fresh human liver cells in which to mature. In this work, liver parasites completed their development within a Thai human hepatoma cell line (HHS-102), and the presence of ring-form parasites in erythrocytes overlying the liver cell culture confirmed that an entire liver cycle was completed, culminating in the production of viable blood-stage parasites. The HHS-102 cell line allows investigation of the undefined liver stage of falciparum malaria previously unavailable in the laboratory.

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