Abstract

The aim of this study is to improve the cultivation of Leishmania promastigotes without the use of common, semisolid culture media such as Evans' modified Tobie's medium (EMTM), liquid RPMI 1640, and Peptone-yeast extract medium (P-Y). Although EMTM medium permits the growth of a high number of parasites, it is technically difficult to prepare as it requires the use of fresh rabbit blood from animals bred on farms, while RPMI 1640 and P-Y show lower growth rates than the EMTM. There is, therefore, a need to develop new blood-free and time-saving culture systems. The aim of this paper is to propose new modified microbiological media, named RPMI-PY and Tobie-PY, to isolate Leishmania and cultivate parasites for research and diagnostic purposes. This study compares classic culture media to the new media, RPMI-PY and Tobie-PY, and demonstrates that the new media have superior performance in terms of time and parasitic load. The growth rate of the parasite was significantly higher at 24, 48, and 72 hr cultivation, based on counts using Bürker's chambers, when compared to classic media. This study was carried out at the National References Centre for Leishmaniasis (C.Re.Na.L.) where the isolation procedures are conducted daily from a number of different biological matrices.

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