Skip to main content Accessibility help

Infectivity of cultured Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes to mosquitoes

  • T. Ponnudurai (a1), A. H. W. Lensen (a1), G. J. A. Van Gemert (a1), M. P. E. Bensink (a1), M. Bolmer (a1) and J. H. E.TH. Meuwissen (a1)...


Various factors that may influence routine and high levels of mosquito infection with cultured Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes are considered in this paper. One of the most important is the choice of an appropriate isolate, with facilities for cryopreservation and a good technique for initiation of cultures. The use of automated culture systems with strict adherence to detail and routine has eliminated much of the variability. The quality of the serum used for the culture of gametocytes and inclusion in the feed material for mosquitoes is of the highest importance. Blood collection for culture purposes must preferably involve alcohol as an antiseptic for cleaning donor skin or suitable receptacles. Mosquito blood meals should not include plasma with citrate phosphate dextrose or sera collected in microtainer tubes or from volunteers on proguanil-chloroquine prophylaxis. Sera of individuals on chloroquine alone do not influence transmission. Haemato-crits of from 5 to 10% permit the culture of equally infective gametocytes. It was impossible to predict the outcome of an infection in mosquitoes based on the number of female gametocytes or gametes. Within any experiment, the oocyst load initially increased, followed by a decline with progressively lower numbers of gametocytes accompanied by a progressive increase in the efficiency of transmission. Some of the variability of mosquito infection within an experiment was due to individual differences in the speed of blood digestion of the mosquitoes. A new membrane feeder is described with three different sizes to accommodate a variety of goals. The new design permitted more mosquitoes to feed within a limited period compared to the older more widely used feeder of equivalent capacity, and mosquitoes feeding on the new-type feeder were frequently better infected than those fed on the older type.



Hide All
Diggs, C. L., Aikawa, M. & Haynes, J. D. (1977). Ultrastructure and viability of crypreserved Plasmodium falciparum. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 55, 299304.
Feldmann, A. M. & Ponnudurai, T. (1989). Selection of Anopheles stephensi (Liston) for refractoriness and susceptibility to Plasmodium falciparum. Medical and Veterinary Entomology (in the Press).
Ifediba, T. & Vanderberg, J. P. (1981). Complete in vitro maturation of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes. Nature, London 294, 364–6.
Meuwissen, J. H. E. TH. & Ponnudurai, T. (1986). Some aspects of transmission blocking immunity reviewed. In Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz. International Symposium on Malaria 81, Suppl. 2yes: 6975.
Ponnudurai, T., Lensen, A. H. W., Leeuwenberg, A. D. E. M. & Meuwissen, J. H. E. TH. (1982 a). Cultivation of fertile Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes in semi-automated systems. 1. Static cultures. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 76, 812–18.
Ponnudurai, T., Meuwissen, J. H. E. TH., Leeuwenberg, A. D. E. M., Verhave, J. P. & Lensen, A. H. W. (1982 b). The production of mature gametocytes of Plasmodium falciparum in continuous cultures of different isolates infective to mosquitoes. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 76, 242–50.
Ponnudurai, T., Lensen, A. H. W., Meis, J. F. G. M. & Meuwissen, J. H. E. TH. (1986). Synchronization of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes using an automated suspension culture system. Parasitology 93, 263–74.
Ponnudurai, T. (1987). Plasmodidae: Erythrocytic stages. In In Vitro Methods for Parasite Cultivation (ed. Taylor, A. E. R. and Baker, J. R.), pp. 153–79. London and New York: Academic Press.
Rosenberg, R., Koontz, L. C., Alston, K. & Friedman, F. K. (1984). Plasmodium gallinaceum: erythrocytic factor essential for zygote infection of Aedes aegypti. Experimental Parasitology 57, 158–64.
Rutledge, L. C., Ward, R. A. & Gould, D. J. (1964). Studies on the feeding response of mosquitoes to nutritive solutions in a new membrane feeder. Mosquito News 24, 407–19.
Shute, P. G. & Maryon, M. (1948). The gametocytocidal action of paludrine upon infections of Plasmodium falciparum. Parasitology 38, 264–70.
Vermeulen, A. N., Ponnudurai, T., Beckers, P. J. A., Verhave, J. P., Smits, M. A. & Meuwissen, J. H. E. TH. (1985). Sequential expression of antigens on sexual stages of Plasmodium falciparum accessible to transmission blocking antibodies in the mosquito. Journal of Experimental Medicine 162, 1460–76.



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed