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


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.

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This work was supported by grant BR2045/1-1 (to K.B.) from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. We are indebted to Matthias Frosch for continuous support and to Sebastian Suerbaum for providing us with the HMN02 cell line. We wish to thank Dominik Quest and Katja Klöpper for excellent technical assistance.

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Correspondence to Klaus Brehm.

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Spiliotis, M., Tappe, D., Sesterhenn, L. et al. Long-term in vitro cultivation of Echinococcus multilocularis metacestodes under axenic conditions. Parasitol Res 92, 430–432 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-003-1046-8

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  • Feeder Cell
  • Echinococcus
  • Reactive Oxygen Intermediate
  • Echinococcus Multilocularis
  • Alveolar Echinococcosis