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Routine In Vitro Culture of Plasmodium falciparum: Experimental Consequences?
- Duffy, Sandra, Avery, Vicky M.
- Trends in parasitology 2018 v.34 no.7 pp. 564-575
- Plasmodium falciparum, in vitro culture, malaria, parasites
- The advent of Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) in vitro culturing opened the door for malaria research, yielding dramatic advancements in our understanding of the parasite. However, fundamental foundations taken for granted in our research endeavors can unknowingly be an Achilles heel, resulting in potential misdirection. In relation to malaria research, this could be our nonquestioning acceptance of routine in vitro culture of Pf. There is nothing routine or straightforward regarding the dynamic and intimate relationship between the parasite and the in vitro environment. Here, we discuss recent studies demonstrating the impact that slight variations in in vitro Pf culture parameters can have on scientific conclusions. We reason that culture conditions should be re-established as a primary consideration in in vitro malaria experimentation.