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Giardia excystation can be induced in vitro in acidic solutions

Naturevolume 277pages301302 (1979) | Download Citation

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Abstract

MANY vertebrates, including humans, are hosts for the intestinal protozoan parasite, Giardia. This genus has a worldwide distribution1 and in recent years has become an increasingly important public health problem2–14. Human infections may be associated with intestinal discomfort, diarrhoea, and malabsorption syndromes15–17. The life cycle of Giardia is divided into trophozoite and cyst stages. When the cyst is ingested by the host, excystation occurs (trophozoites emerge) and the upper small intestine is colonised. Although research on Giardia excystation began nearly 50 yr ago18,19, conditions for the induction of the process were never defined. We demonstrate here (1) Giardia excystation in acidic solutions, (2) the pattern of trophozoite emergence during excystation, (3) a method for routine in vitro induction of excystation, and (4) the establishment of in vitro axenic cultures from excysted trophozoites.

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  1. Department of Microbiology, University of Oregon Health Sciences Center, 3181 S. W. Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, Oregon, 97201

    • ALAN K. BINGHAM
    •  & ERNEST A. MEYER

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https://doi.org/10.1038/277301a0

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