, Volume 23, Issue 1-3, pp 205-210

Culture of cells from two life stages of Schistosoma mansoni

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The ability to culture continuously proliferating cell lines of various organisms in vitro has provided numerous advantages in experimental approaches toward the understanding of basic biology and disease. Although in vitro approaches are common in many disciplines, this methodology has proven difficult to exploit in the study of helminthic parasites. A major cause of parasitic disease, particularly in tropical countries, is the trematode Schistosoma mansoni. We have developed in vitro techniques that allow the long term maintenance of cell cultures from two stages of the life cycle of this organism, associated with its mammalian and the molluscan hosts. We have developed quantitative assays of cell survival and proliferation in our culture systems, and obtained evidence for limited proliferation in vitro. Although the cultures we have achieved thus far are useful for many kinds of experiments in vitro, development of continuously proliferating cell lines remains our goal.