Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Sara F. Kerr


Ricardo Carrion


Russell W. Raymond


Protozoans of the genus Leishmania are intracellular parasites found across five continents. They cycle between a promastigote form inside the digestive tracts of blood-feeding female sand flies and an amastigote form within mammalian host macrophages. Temperature is an important factor that must be defeated in order for the parasites' survival and continuance. This paper studies the limits of temperature tolerance by Leishmania enriettii and Leishmania hertigi. It was hypothesized that a correlation would exist between the limits of temperature tolerance to body temperature of their host. I explored growth characteristics at 21,27,29, 33, 35, 37, and 39° C. It was observed that both Leishmania enriettii and Leishmania hertigi amastigotes grow optimally at 33° C in this in vitro system. Also 37° C was the limit that the parasites could survive, and 39° C was the lethal temperature that could no longer support the growth of the parasites. Based on the results indicated in the paper, it can be concluded that limits of temperature tolerance can be correlated to body temperature of their hosts.

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