Zakai, H A and Chance, M L and Bates, P A (1998) In vitro stimulation of metacyclogenesis in Leishmania braziliensis, L. donovani, L. major and L. mexicana. Parasitology, 116 (4). pp. 305-309. ISSN 0031-1820
Promastigotes of Leishmania braziliensis, L. donovani, L. major and L. mexicana recently derived from tissue amastigotes were cultured in Schneider's Drosophila medium supplemented with 20% (v/v) heat-inactivated foetal calf serum and 25 micrograms gentamicin sulfate/ml at pH 5.5. These cultures produced more metacyclic promastigotes in their stationary-phase populations than others cultured at pH 7.0. Metacyclic promastigotes possessed a short (<or = 8 microns) and narrow (<or = 1.5 microns) cell body with a flagellum twice or more the length of the cell body. Promastigotes from acidic cultures were more resistant to complement-mediated lysis and more infective in vivo than those grown at neutral pH. These results demonstrate that induction of metacyclogenesis by acidic pH is a response conserved across a variety of species of Leishmania.
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