Effects of Long-Term in Vitro Cultivation on Leishmania Donovani Promastigotes

J Protozool. 1985 Feb;32(1):70-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1550-7408.1985.tb03015.x.


Promastigotes of Leishmania donovani that had been subcultured in modified Tobie's medium for 2 to 3 years showed decreased infectivity and lack of virulence for hamsters and mice compared to newly transformed promastigotes. Amastigotes derived from these long-term promastigote cultures decreased in number rapidly in hamsters, but only slightly in mice, over a 48-day period. In cultured mouse and hamster macrophages infected in vitro, amastigotes derived from long-term cultures rapidly decreased to low numbers, which persisted. The same pattern was seen in macrophages treated with catalase, an inhibitor of the oxygen-dependent killing mechanism of the macrophage. Promastigotes from long-term cultures also differed from virulent first-passage promastigotes in size, growth patterns in Tobie's medium, and in the quantities of some of their antigens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Protozoan
  • Catalase / pharmacology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cricetinae
  • Culture Media
  • Female
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Leishmania / growth & development*
  • Leishmania / immunology
  • Leishmania / pathogenicity
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / parasitology
  • Liver / parasitology
  • Macrophages / parasitology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Spleen / parasitology
  • Time Factors
  • Virulence


  • Antigens, Protozoan
  • Culture Media
  • Catalase