, Volume 92, Issue 5, pp 430-432

Long-term in vitro cultivation of Echinococcus multilocularis metacestodes under axenic conditions

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We report here on the development of an in vitro system for the long-term cultivation of Echinococcus multilocularis larvae under axenic conditions. In the absence of feeder cells from the host, long-term survival of the parasite depended strictly on low oxygen conditions and the presence of reducing agents in the medium. Host serum supported survival of the parasite but the growth of metacestode vesicles and differentiation towards the protoscolex stage only occurred in the presence of culture medium that was preconditioned by hepatoma cells or several other immortal cell lines. On the basis of this in vitro system, future analyses on the identification of host-derived growth factors for E. multilocularis will be greatly facilitated.