Blastocystis sp. from pigs: ultrastructural changes occurring during polyxenic cultivation in Iscove's modified Dulbecco's medium

Parasitol Res. 1999 Aug;85(8-9):743-8. doi: 10.1007/s004360050625.


A porcine strain of Blastocystis sp. grown in LES medium was transferred to Iscove's modified Dulbecco's medium (IMDM) and encystation medium (EM). In comparison with the cells maintained in LES medium, the cells cultivated for several days in both IMDM and EM exhibited considerable differences in their morphology and ultrastructure. The central vacuole was mostly electron-opaque, usually with electron-lucent granules in its center. Mitochondrial matrix became less electron-dense and cristae were shortened and reduced in number. Two membranes of the nuclear envelope were dilated and the intramembranous space was filled with intermediately electron-dense bodies. Two or three nuclei surrounded by one joint outer membrane were often seen. In the old cultures the surface coat often disappeared and electron-dense pits on the cell surface were much more numerous than in young cultures or in the cells grown in LES medium. The possible role of the cells with peculiar ultrastructural features in the Blastocystis life cycle is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blastocystis / growth & development*
  • Blastocystis / ultrastructure*
  • Blastocystis Infections / veterinary
  • Culture Media
  • Swine
  • Swine Diseases / parasitology


  • Culture Media