Plasmodium Falciparum: Synchronization of Asexual Development With Aphidicolin, a DNA Synthesis Inhibitor

Exp Parasitol. 1984 Feb;57(1):48-54. doi: 10.1016/0014-4894(84)90061-4.


The asexual development cycle of Plasmodium falciparum, a malarial parasite of humans, has been synchronized in culture by treating ring-stage parasites with aphidicolin, an inhibitor of DNA synthesis. Optimization of both the concentration of drug added to ring stage containing red blood cells and the duration of exposure of parasites to drug led to a reversible block of their maturation at the early trophozoite stage. Release of the aphidicolin block led to a synchronous development of parasites that was manifested by about 80% of the new ring stages being produced within a 2- to 3-hr interval.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aphidicolin
  • DNA / biosynthesis
  • Diterpenes / pharmacology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Erythrocytes / parasitology
  • Humans
  • Parasitology / methods*
  • Plasmodium falciparum / drug effects
  • Plasmodium falciparum / growth & development*
  • Plasmodium falciparum / metabolism


  • Diterpenes
  • Aphidicolin
  • DNA