A microcarrier culture method for the production of large quantities of viable Chlamydia pneumoniae

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 1996 Sep;46(2):132-7. doi: 10.1007/s002530050794.


We studied the propagation of Chlamydia pneumoniae strain TW-183 in HEp2 cells grown on microcarrier beads. Infection of the cells in microcarrier culture was optimized by addition of 7.5% polyethylene glycol 4000 (PEG4000) during adsorption. The yield in microcarrier culture was similar to that of microtitre-plate culture using centrifugation-assisted infection (120 x 10(6) and 225 x 10(6) bacteria/10(6) HEp2 cells respectively), as was the burst size (505 and 449 bacteria produced/infecting bacterium respectively). However, up to 64% savings in labour time and 27% saving in culture medium were achieved if the microcarrier culture method was used instead of the microtitre-plate culture method. The optimal yield of viable bacteria could only be achieved at a narrow range of multiplicities of infection (0.24 - 1.14 inclusion-forming units/cell), independent of the mode of infection (centrifugation-assisted infection of PEG4000-facilitated infection by adsorption) and independent of incubation temperature (35 degrees C or 37 degrees C). The yield of microcarrier cultures was the same at an incubation temperature of 35 degrees C or 37 degrees C in contrast to an increased production at 35 degrees C in the microtitre-plate culture method using centrifugation-assisted infection. In conclusion, the microcarrier culture method is useful to produce large quantities of viable Chlamydia pneumoniae economically.

MeSH terms

  • Chlamydophila pneumoniae / growth & development*
  • Fermentation
  • Humans
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured