In vitro development of Cryptosporidium parvum in serum-free media.


AIM To compare commercially available serum-free media with common, standard, growth medium for their ability to support growth of Cryptosporidium parvum in HCT-8 cell cultures. METHODS AND RESULTS Twelve serum-free media formulations with or without additional supplements were tested against a standard growth medium containing 2% FBS in HCT-8 cell cultures. After a 48-h incubation period, the level of parasite development was determined by ELISA. The extent of development in the serum-free media was determined as a percentage of infections compared with those obtained using a standard growth medium. CONCLUSIONS Several of the serum-free media formulations, which included MDCK, UltraMDCK, PC-1, UltraCHO and UltraCulture, compared favourably with a traditional, standard growth medium. Moreover, increasing FBS concentrations to 10% actually resulted in an overall decrease in development in many cultures. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY Several serum-free medium formulations are available which allow development of C. parvumin vitro at levels comparable with standard media employing FBS. These serum-free media are particularly useful for applications, which may require a more defined medium without the presence of FBS. Moreover, the elimination of FBS as a variable allows investigators the ability to more closely regulate their experimental systems when growing C. parvum in cell cultures.


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