Research Article

Synchronized erythrocytic schizogony and gametocytogenesis of Plasmodium berghei in vivo and in vitro

B. Monsa1, C.J. Jansea1, E. G. Boorsmaa1 and H. J. Van Der Kaaya1

a1 Laboratory of Parasitology (Medical Faculty), State University of Leiden, Wassenaarseweg 62, 2333 Al Leiden, The Netherlands


Both asexual and sexual development of Plasmodium berghei was synchronized without chemical intervention using in vitro culture techniques. Combined in vivo and in vitro experiments were performed on the relationship between age, morphology and maturity of gametocytes. Schizogony took 22–23 h in the experiments. At 26 h post-invasion (p.i) the first males became capable of exflagellation. By 20 h p.i. the first gametocytes were recognizable in Giemsa-stained smears but the sex was hardly distinguishable until maturity (26 h p.i.). Survival time of gametocytes was estimated at 26 h in vitro (half-life 13 h) and the same survival time was suggested for gametocytes in vivo. Schizonts of P. berghei apparently disappeared from the peripheral circulation upon maturity, rupturing almost immediately. Mature schizonts in vitro persisted up to 48 h p.i. in non-agitated cultures. No evidence was collected for sequestration of any sub-population of gametocytes.

(Accepted April 22 1985)