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Plasmodium falciparum Welch


Plasmodium falciparum strain FCR-3/FMG was isolated from a clinical specimen from Fajara, Gambia. This strain is cultivated in human erythrocytes and can be used in infectious disease research and vector-borne disease research.
Product category
Product type
Parasitic protozoan
KINGDOM: Protozoa
Strain designation
FCR-3/FMG [ FCR-3/Gambia)]
Type strain
Isolation source
Clinical specimen
Geographical isolation
Gambia; Fajara
Infectious disease research
Vector-borne disease research
Product format
Storage conditions
-80°C or colder for 1 week, vapor phase of liquid nitrogen for long-term storage
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ATCC determines the biosafety level of a material based on our risk assessment as guided by the current edition of Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is your responsibility to understand the hazards associated with the material per your organization’s policies and procedures as well as any other applicable regulations as enforced by your local or national agencies.

ATCC highly recommends that appropriate personal protective equipment is always used when handling vials. For cultures that require storage in liquid nitrogen, it is important to note that some vials may leak when submersed in liquid nitrogen and will slowly fill with liquid nitrogen. Upon thawing, the conversion of the liquid nitrogen back to its gas phase may result in the vial exploding or blowing off its cap with dangerous force creating flying debris. Unless necessary, ATCC recommends that these cultures be stored in the vapor phase of liquid nitrogen rather than submersed in liquid nitrogen.

Detailed product information


Specific applications
Emerging infectious disease research
Vector borne research

Handling information


In vitro culture in human erythrocyte

Instruction for complete medium
ATCC Medium 2196 and type O blood
Handling procedure
Storage and Culture Initiation
Frozen ampules packed in dry ice should either be thawed immediately or stored in liquid nitrogen.  If liquid nitrogen storage facilities are not available, frozen ampoules may be stored at or below -70°C for approximately one week.  Do not under any circumstance store frozen ampules at refrigerator freezer temperatures (generally -20°C).  Storage of frozen material at this temperature will result in the death of the culture.

The following directions for recovery from the frozen state must be carefully followed if a culture is to be successfully established.

  1. Place the frozen vial in a 37°C water bath until mixture is completely thawed.
  2. Aseptically transfer the contents to a 50 mL sterile conical tube.
  3. Slowly add 1 volume (0.1 mL) 12% Sodium Chloride solution dropwise via a 1mL syringe to 5 volumes sample (0.5 mL) and agitate continuously.
  4. Allow the mixture to stand for 5 mins at room temperature.
  5. Slowly add 5 mL 1.8% Sodium Chloride dropwise via a larger syringe and allow to stand at room temperature for 2 mins.
  6. Add 5 mL of 0.9% Sodium Chloride / 0.2% Glucose solution as in step 5.
  7. Centrifuge for 5 min at 1000 x g, remove supernatant.
  8. Wash pellet in 20 mL incomplete medium.
  9. Centrifuge for 5 min at 1000 x g, remove supernatant.
  10. Resuspend pellet in 8 mL complete medium in a T-25 tissue culture flask and gently aerate culture with gas mixture of 5% CO2, 5% O2 and 90% N2 using a sterile, cotton plugged Pasteur pipet. Quickly tighten cap of the flask and place in 37°C incubator.
  11. Follow protocol for maintenance of culture.  Smear as required to determine parasitemia (see below).

Culture maintenance
Changing of the culture medium every 24 hours is required for a malaria-infected erythrocyte culture.  Add washed, uninfected red blood cells (RBCs) to 1% to 3% haematocrit, and maintain parasitemia at 2% to 3% for continuous culture.
  1. Remove flask with infected culture from 37°C incubator and place onto flask warmer in biological safety hood.
  2. Carefully aspirate the medium with a sterile unplugged Pasteur pipet attached to a vacuum line. Remove as much fluid as possible without taking the cells.
  3. Aseptically add sterile warm (37°C) completed medium to the flask (~8 mL to a T-25, ~25 mL to a T-75, etc.).  Mix and smear as required to determine parasitemia (see below).
  4. Add washed RBCs as necessary to obtain desired haematocrit and parasitemia.
  5. Gently mix and aerate culture with gas mixture of 5% CO2, 5% O2 and 90% N2 using a sterile, cotton plugged Pasteur pipet. Quickly tighten cap of the flask and place in 37°C incubator until the next medium change.

Making a Blood Smear:

  1. Aseptically transfer 0.5 mL to 1.0 mL of mixed culture with a sterile pipet into a microcentrifuge tube.
  2. Spin the microcentrifuge tube at high speed and aspirate the supernatant.
  3. Mix the pellet and place a drop of the suspension on a glass slide. Spread the drop into a thin film with the edge of another glass slide. Air dry for 3 mins at room temperature.
  4. Fix air-dried blood film by rinsing with methyl alcohol. Air dry for 3 mins at room temperature.
  5. Stain blood films in 5% Giemsa solution for 15 mins. Rinse with distilled water, air dry.
  6. Observe using light microscopy at 1000X magnification to determine parasitemia of culture.
Reagents for cryopreservation
Glycerolyte medium**
Glycerol: 57.00 g
NaC3H5O3 (Sodium lactate): 1.60 g
KCl: 30.00 mg
NaH2PO4: 1.38 g
Glass distilled water: 100.00 mL
Mix well and adjust pH to 6.8 using concentrated NaOH and/or HCl. Autoclave and store at 4°C.

Harvesting and Preservation
Only young cells (rings) can be frozen in glycerolyte medium** because their membranes are more robust.
  1. Centrifuge ring-stage culture for 5 mins at 1000 x g in 50 mL centrifuge tube.
  2. Aspirate supernatant using sterile Pasteur pipet.
  3. Resuspend pellet gently in remaining supernatant.
  4. Slowly add 5 volumes of glycerolyte medium to 3 volumes pellet dropwise via a syringe as follows:
    1. Add the first volume of glycerolyte and allow the tube to stand for 5 mins. at room temperature.
    2. Add the remaining 4 volumes of glycerolyte and gently agitate.
  5. Aliquot mixture into Nunc screw-capped freezing vials and place in a Nalgene 1°C cooling apparatus. Place the apparatus at -80°C overnight and then plunge ampules into liquid nitrogen.  (The cooling rate in this apparatus is approximately -1°C/min.).
  6. Plunge vials into liquid nitrogen (-196°C) the next day and store in liquid nitrogen or liquid nitrogen vapor.


Deposited as
Plasmodium falciparum Welch
W Trager
Type of isolate
Year of origin

Legal disclaimers

Intended use
This product is intended for laboratory research use only. It is not intended for any animal or human therapeutic use, any human or animal consumption, or any diagnostic use.

The product is provided 'AS IS' and the viability of ATCC® products is warranted for 30 days from the date of shipment, provided that the customer has stored and handled the product according to the information included on the product information sheet, website, and Certificate of Analysis. For living cultures, ATCC lists the media formulation and reagents that have been found to be effective for the product. While other unspecified media and reagents may also produce satisfactory results, a change in the ATCC and/or depositor-recommended protocols may affect the recovery, growth, and/or function of the product. If an alternative medium formulation or reagent is used, the ATCC warranty for viability is no longer valid.  Except as expressly set forth herein, no other warranties of any kind are provided, express or implied, including, but not limited to, any implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, manufacture according to cGMP standards, typicality, safety, accuracy, and/or noninfringement.


This product is intended for laboratory research use only. It is not intended for any animal or human therapeutic use, any human or animal consumption, or any diagnostic use. Any proposed commercial use is prohibited without a license from ATCC.

While ATCC uses reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information on this product sheet, ATCC makes no warranties or representations as to its accuracy. Citations from scientific literature and patents are provided for informational purposes only. ATCC does not warrant that such information has been confirmed to be accurate or complete and the customer bears the sole responsibility of confirming the accuracy and completeness of any such information.

This product is sent on the condition that the customer is responsible for and assumes all risk and responsibility in connection with the receipt, handling, storage, disposal, and use of the ATCC product including without limitation taking all appropriate safety and handling precautions to minimize health or environmental risk. As a condition of receiving the material, the customer agrees that any activity undertaken with the ATCC product and any progeny or modifications will be conducted in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and guidelines. This product is provided 'AS IS' with no representations or warranties whatsoever except as expressly set forth herein and in no event shall ATCC, its parents, subsidiaries, directors, officers, agents, employees, assigns, successors, and affiliates be liable for indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages of any kind in connection with or arising out of the customer's use of the product. While reasonable effort is made to ensure authenticity and reliability of materials on deposit, ATCC is not liable for damages arising from the misidentification or misrepresentation of such materials.

Please see the material transfer agreement (MTA) for further details regarding the use of this product. The MTA is available at

Permits & Restrictions

Import Permit for the State of Hawaii

If shipping to the U.S. state of Hawaii, you must provide either an import permit or documentation stating that an import permit is not required. We cannot ship this item until we receive this documentation. Contact the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA), Plant Industry Division, Plant Quarantine Branch to determine if an import permit is required.



Curated Citations

Isolated from an infected human blood sample collected by M. Friedman, Medical Research Council Labs Clinic, Fajara, Gambia, 1976.

Jensen JB, et al. Clinical drug-resistant falciparum malaria acquired from cultured parasites. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 30: 523-525, 1981. PubMed: 7020443

Jensen JB, Trager W. Plasmodium falciparum in culture: establishment of additional strains. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 27: 743-746, 1978. PubMed: 356635

Jensen JB, Trager W. Plasmodium falciparum in culture: use of outdated erthrocytes and description of the candle jar method. J. Parasitol. 63: 883-886, 1977. PubMed: 335035

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