The Effects Of Different Temperatures on the Growth Of Plasmodium Falciparum

Original article


Aisha Gashout, Walter A. Maier, Helge Kampen

Department of Serology and Immunology, Central Hospital, Tripoli Libya, and the Institute of Medical Parasitology, University of Bonn, Germany

Garyounis Medical Journal Vol. 21, No.1. 2004:35-37


Background: The establishment of a method for the in-vitro cultivation of malaria parasite was a prerequisite for research on the development and growth conditions of Plasmodium falciparum. Objectives: The present work was aimed to determine the influence of different and alternate temperature changes on the growth of P. falciparum. Materials & Methods: Parasites of the NF-54- and R-strain were cultured in RPMI- 1640 medium with 10% human serum. In a first set of experiments the Rstrain was cultured at two different temperatures (37°C and 40°C) for 4 days and the parasitemia was determined by blood smear examination every two days. In a second series of experiments the NF-54-strain was cultured at daily temperature changes of 37°C and 40°C for 16 days. Results: At 37°C the parasitemia increased constantly until the fourth day to a value of 6.6%. At 40°C the parasitemia decreased continuously reaching 0.2% at the last day of experiment. In spite of fluctuation of parasitemia during the first days of cultivation a slow but steady parasite increase was observed reaching 13.7% on the 12th day. However, on the 16th day the parasitemia decreased to 2%. The results obtained shows that alteration of temperature resulted in an adaptation of the parasite by the conversion to a more heat-resistant stage of the gametocyte. Conclusion: the use of alternate temperatures (3 7°C and 40°C) increases the yield of malarial parasite and it might be a better method for its cultivation in-vitro.

Keywords: Malaria, Plasmodium, NF-54-strain, Parasitemia.