Cultivation of Plasmodium falciparum Parasites in a Serum-Free Medium

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  • Biomedical 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

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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