Lack of cellular cytotoxicity by human mononuclear cells to Giardia

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Immunology






Cytotoxicity of mononuclear leukocytes (MNL) to Giardia lamblia was compared by using two techniques. The first method assessed the viability of surviving Giardia directly by culturing and the second method measured release of incorporated [3H]thymidine. Cytotoxicity, as measured directly by culturing and visual assessment, showed that the numbers of surviving Giardia decreased over time whether cultured with or without MNL but that Giardia survived significantly better in the presence of MNL at 18 hr (21.8 ± 8.3% with MNL compared with 3.4 ± 1.5% without MNL). Release of [3H]thymidine increased whether Giardia were cultured with or without MNL and although there was a tendency for increased release with MNL, there was no significant difference. Dead labeled Giardia released significantly more label in the presence of MNL than without MNL, suggesting that MNL cause release of [3H]thymidine after phagocytosis. The thymidine release assay therefore does not measure spontaneous cytotoxicity of MNL to Giardia.

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