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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

On-line version ISSN 1678-8060

Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz vol.87  suppl.3 Rio de Janeiro  1992 

A rapid, reliable method of evaluating growth and viability of intraerythrocytic protozoan hemoparasites using fluorescence flow cytometry

W. C. Davis, C. R. Wyatt, M. J. Hamilton, W. L. Goff1 

Washington State University, ARS, USDA, Washington, USA


Fluorescence flow cytometry was employed to assess the potential of a vital dye, hydroethiedine, for use in the detection and monitoring of the viability of hemoparasites in infected erythrocytes, using Babesia bovis as a model parasite. The studies demonstrated that hydroethidine is taken up by B. bovis and metabolically converted to the DNA binding fluorochrone, ethidium. Following uptake of the dye, erythrocytes contamine viable parasites were readily distinguished and quantitated. Timed studies with the parasiticidal drug, Ganaseg, showed that it is possible to use the fluorochrome assay to monitor the effects of the drug on the rate of replication and viability of B. bovis in culture. The assay provides a rapid method for evaluation of the in vitro effect of drugs on hemoparasites and for analysis of the effect of various components of the immune response, such as lymphokines, monocyte products, antibodies, and effector cells (T, NK, LAK, ADCC) on the growth and viability of intraerythrocytic parasites.


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