The successful cultivation of a variety of haemoflagellates in three different liquid media is reported. These media include medium 199, Grace's insect tissue-culture medium and Schneider's drosophila medium, each in combination with 30% (v/v) foetal calf serum. These media were used to cultivate Old and New World species of visceral and cutaneous human Leishmania, as well as Leishmania species isolated from sandflies, rodents, and reptiles. Four strains of Trypanosoma cruzi, an isolate of T. rangeli and an isolate of T. lewisi have also been cultivated in these media. One or more of these media have been used to cultivate 121 strains of haemoflagellates, including at least 14 different species (11 Leishmania and 3 Trypanosoma) and many geographic isolates or strains. The Leishmania include L. braziliensis, L. peruviana, L. mexicana, L. tropica, L. donovani, L. chagasi, L. enriettii, L. hertigi, L. hoogstraali, L. adleri, and L. agamae. Using the Schneider's based medium, we have obtained primary isolates of both cutaneous and visceral Leishmania of man and of experimentally infected laboratory rodents and canines. Freeze-dried preparations of the Schneider's based medium that were reconstituted with distilled water after 24 months of storage at ambient temperature have proven to be suitable cultivation media. This feature makes the media valuable field tools.
The various species of human Leishmania cultivated in these media have in our experience demonstrated no differences in growth rate, viability after liquid nitrogen preservation, or infectivity for laboratory animals and tissue-culture cells compared with promastigotes derived from blood-agar cultivation.