Ultrastructural aspects of Cystoisospora belli (syn. Isospora belli) in continuous cell lines.
Intracellular development of Cystoisospora belli was demonstrated in 4 different mammalian cell lines. Human ileocecal adenocarcinoma (HCT-8), epithelial carcinoma of lung (A549), Madin-Darby bovine kidney (MDBK), and African green monkey kidney (VERO) were exposed in vitro to C. belli sporozoites, which had been isolated from the feces of HIV-AIDS patients. Parasites invaded all the cellular types between 4 and 12h after exposure and multiplication was demonstrated after 24 h. Grater number of merozoites formed in VERO cells, followed by HCT-8. In the MDBK and HCT-8 cells, the parasitophorous vacuole was less evident and immobile merozoites were observed in the cytoplasm. In VERO cells, one or several parasitophorous vacuoles contained up to 16 mobile sporozoites. No oocysts were found in any of the cell types used. VERO cells may be suitable for studies of the interaction between parasite and host cells.