Some factors influencing the in vitro infectivity and replication of Encephalitozoon cuniculi

J Protozool. 1978 Nov;25(4):491-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1550-7408.1978.tb04174.x.


Rabbit Encephalitozoon cuniculi were propagated in vitro using rabbit choroid plexus (RCP) cells. The organisms reached maximum titer and numbers by 15 days. The source and in vitro passage level of RCP cells moderately influenced the sensitivity of the cells to infection. Cells less than 1 week old were significantly less sensitive than older cells. A moderate increase in infectivity for RCP cells was demonstrated with increasing organism passage level in vitro. Rabbit E. cuniculi were not affected by penicillin-streptomycin or gentamicin in the culture medium. The organism survived more than 9 days in buffer at 37 C and least 24 days at 4 and 20 C. Storage at -70 C or in liquid nitrogen was successful for at least 6 months. Encephalitozoon cuniculi survived 60 but not 120 min at 56 C. They were killed after 10 min of autoclaving and by 2% (v/v) Lysol, 10% (v/v) formalin and 70% (v/v) ethyl alcohol. The organisms survived at least 24 h at pH 9 or pH 4 and were not affected by sonication, freezing and thawing, or distilled water but lost significant infectivity after 24 h in CsCl or 40% (w/v) sucrose.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Choroid Plexus
  • Culture Techniques
  • Disinfectants / pharmacology
  • Eukaryota / drug effects
  • Eukaryota / growth & development*
  • Eukaryota / pathogenicity
  • Hot Temperature
  • Rabbits


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Disinfectants