Methods for the cultivation of ciliate protozoa from the large intestine of horses

Grzegorz Bełżecki, Renata Miltko, Tadeusz Michalowski, Neil McEwan

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12 Citations (SciVal)


This paper describes cultivation methods for ciliates from the digestive tract of horses. Members of three different genera were successfully grown in vitro for short periods of time. However, only cells belonging to the genus Blepharocorys, which resides in the horse's large intestine, were maintained for longer periods. This Blepharocorys culture was successfully grown in vitro after inoculation of freshly excreted horse faeces in culture medium containing a population of bacteria. The ciliates survived for over six months, and the density of their population varied between 1.7 × 103 and 2.4 × 103 cells mL−1. Favourable conditions for the prolonged cultivation of this ciliate were observed when the medium was prepared by mixing horse faeces and ‘caudatum’ salt solution in a 1:1 V/V ratio together with food (60% powdered meadow hay, 16% wheat gluten, 12% barley flour and 12% microcrystalline cellulose) supplied as 0.20 mg mL−1 culture per day.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberfnv233
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2015


  • horse
  • protozoa
  • Blepharocorys
  • cultivation
  • in vitro


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