A technique for the hatching and subsequent in vitro cultivation of the oncospheres of Echinococcus granulosus, Taenia hydatigena, T. ovis, T. pisiformis and T. serialis to cystic larvae is described. The cytology and histology of developing larvae were also studied.
The basic culture medium consisted of medium 858 containing additional glucose and K+ supplemented with the appropriate host sera. Fresh sera from young animals was generally more successful in promoting growth than sera from commercial sources. Cultivation was carried out at 37°C in roller tubes with a gas phase of 10% O2+5% CO2 in N2.
The most successful results were obtained with T. pisiformis, oncospheres of which were grown to the cystic stage with development of hooks and suckers. During the later culture period, the bladder, although morphologically normal, ‘collapsed’ and did not retain its cystic shape.
In culture, larvae of T. pisiformis became motile at 3 days and at 5 days began secreting droplets from a glandular apical region; this region stained differentially in alcian blue.
Some larvae of T. pisiformis showed a tendency to undergo transverse or longitudinal fission, an effect possibly associated with the centrifugation applied during the early cultivation procedures.
Early cystic development was obtained with the other species studied, but experiments carried out were only of a preliminary nature. However, the development rate in these experiments approximated that recorded in vivo.