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SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 6

The effect of glucose and insulin on in vitro proliferation of Plasmodium falciparum


1 Institute of Nutritional Sciences and Department of Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Wilhelmstr. 20, D-35392 Giessen, Germany
2 Research Center for Infectious Diseases, University of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany
3 Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Mission Hospital, Salvatorstr. 7, Wuerzburg, Germany

Correspondence Address:
M B Krawinkel
Institute of Nutritional Sciences and Department of Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Justus- Liebig-University Giessen, Wilhelmstr. 20, D-35392 Giessen, Germany

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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With increasing prevalence rates of diabetes mellitus in tropical countries, malaria and diabetes often coincide. The study was designed to investigate the effects of glucose and insulin upon in vitro proliferation of Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of malaria tropica. Plasmodium falciparum proliferation was determined via the Malstat™ assay, following incubation of the parasites at varying concentrations of glucose (0 - 27.7mM) or insulin (10 pM - 100μM) for 24 and 48 hrs. While Plasmodium falciparum proliferation was unaffected at concentrations of 5.5 - 27.7mM glucose, growth was impaired below a threshold of 5.5mM. No effect was seen following incubation of the parasites in the presence of 10pM - 100μM insulin. Insulin levels did not affect parasite proliferation whilst glucose levels below 5.5mM reduced parasite growth. The Malstat™ assay was identified as a suitable screening assay to assess the effects of glycemic control upon Plasmodium falciparum growth.


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