Plasmodium falciparum: Generation of pure gametocyte culture by heparin treatment

Jun Miao, Zenglei Wang, Min Liu, Daniel Parker, Xiaolian Li, Xiaoguang Chen, Liwang Cui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


In vitro culture of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes is essential for studying sexual development of the parasite. Here we describe a simple method for producing synchronous gametocyte culture without contamination of asexual stages. This method employs heparin's activity in blocking merozoite invasion of erythrocytes to eliminate asexual stage parasites from gametocyte culture. We show that following induction of gametocyte formation, addition of heparin in culture medium for four days effectively eliminates asexual stages and produces pure, synchronous cultures of gametocytes. Compared with the commonly used N-acetylglucosamine treatment method, heparin treatment requires shorter time to eliminate asexual stages and causes significantly less hemolysis in late stage gametocyte cultures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-545
Number of pages5
JournalExperimental Parasitology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Plasmodium falciparum: Generation of pure gametocyte culture by heparin treatment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this