An image-based assay for high throughput screening of Giardia lamblia

J Microbiol Methods. 2011 Mar;84(3):398-405. doi: 10.1016/j.mimet.2010.12.026. Epub 2011 Jan 22.


Giardia lamblia is a protozoan parasite that causes widespread gastrointestinal illness. Drugs to treat giardiasis are limited, but efforts to discover new anti-giardial compounds are constrained by the lack of a facile system for cell culture and inhibitor testing. We achieved robust and reproducible growth of G. lamblia in 384-well tissue culture plates in a modified TYI-S-33 medium. A high throughput assay for the screening of potential anti-giardial compounds was developed utilizing the WB strain of G. lamblia and automated optical detection of parasites after growth with tested inhibitors. We screened a library of 1600 known bioactive molecules and identified 12 compounds that inhibited growth of G. lamblia at low- or sub-micromolar concentrations. Our high throughput assay should facilitate evaluation of available chemical libraries for novel drugs to treat giardiasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / methods*
  • Giardia lamblia / drug effects*
  • Giardia lamblia / growth & development
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Parasitic Sensitivity Tests / methods


  • Antiprotozoal Agents