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Leishmania mexicana mexicana: quantitative analysis of the intracellular cycle

  • P. S. Doyle (a1), J. C. Engel (a1), A. A. Gam (a1) and J. A. Dvorak (a1)

Summary

The complete intracellular cycle of the Leishmania mexicana mexicana G. S. strain was quantified in human macrophages and in the mouse IC-21 macrophage line utilizing a culture system that allows the direct observation of individual intracellular parasites. A wide range of pre-replicative lag periods exists, implying that promastigotes may be in any phase of their DNA synthetic cycle when phagocytosed by the macrophage. Amastigotes replicated 2–3 times, after which the host cell died and liberated amastigotes that were taken up by other macrophages and continued to replicate. The mean amastigote population-doubling time in human macrophages (17.5 h) was not statistically different from promastigotes growing in axenic culture (16.4 h), but was nearly 2-fold less than amastigotes growing in mouse-derived IC-21 macrophages (33.7 h). These observations are markedly different from cover-glass culture assays of Leishmania-macrophage interactions and provide an unambiguous description of the intracellular cycle of Leishmania mexicana mexicana.

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Keywords

Leishmania mexicana mexicana: quantitative analysis of the intracellular cycle

  • P. S. Doyle (a1), J. C. Engel (a1), A. A. Gam (a1) and J. A. Dvorak (a1)

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