Organotypic slice cultures from rat brain tissue: a new approach for Naegleria fowleri CNS infection in vitro

Gianinazzi, Christian; Schild, Marc; Müller, Nicole; Leib, Stephen; Simon, F; Nunez, Sandra; Joss, Philipp; Gottstein, Bruno (2005). Organotypic slice cultures from rat brain tissue: a new approach for Naegleria fowleri CNS infection in vitro. Parasitology, 131(6), pp. 797-804. Cambridge University Press 10.1017/S0031182005008619

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The free-living amoeba Naegleria fowleri is the aetiological agent of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a disease leading to death in the vast majority of cases. In patients suffering from PAM, and in corresponding animal models, the brain undergoes a massive inflammatory response, followed by haemorrhage and severe tissue necrosis. Both, in vivo and in vitro models are currently being used to study PAM infection. However, animal models may pose ethical issues, are dependent upon availability of specific infrastructural facilities, and are time-consuming and costly. Conversely, cell cultures lack the complex organ-specific morphology found in vivo, and thus, findings obtained in vitro do not necessarily reflect the situation in vivo. The present study reports infection of organotypic slice cultures from rat brain with N. fowleri and compares the findings in this culture system with in vivo infection in a rat model of PAM, that proved complementary to that of mice. We found that brain morphology, as present in vivo, is well retained in organotypic slice cultures, and that infection time-course including tissue damage parallels the observations in vivo in the rat. Therefore, organotypic slice cultures from rat brain offer a new in vitro approach to study N. fowleri infection in the context of PAM.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Parasitology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute for Infectious Diseases
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Small Animal Clinic

UniBE Contributor:

Gianinazzi, Christian, Schild, Marc, Müller, Nicole (B), Leib, Stephen, Nunez, Sandra, Joss, Philipp, Gottstein, Bruno


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Cambridge University Press




Stephen Leib

Date Deposited:

01 Sep 2014 09:50

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2023 23:34

Publisher DOI:


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