This disclosure provides a method for transporting a pathogen under ambient conditions, by culturing the pathogen with an amoeba under conditions that favor the incorporation of the pathogen into a trophozoite, starving the amoeba until it encysts, then culturing under conditions that favor conversion of the amoeba back to a trophozoite. In one aspect, the conditions that favor incorporation of the pathogen into the cyst of the amoeba comprises contacting the pathogen with the amoeba in an iron rich environment. Virus and/or bacteria are pathogens that can be transported by the disclosed method. Amoeba that are useful in the disclosed methods include, without limitation Acanthamoeba castellanii, Hartmannella vermiformis and Naegleria gruberi. The disclosed methods have utility in: transporting pathogens from military field hospitals and clinics to the laboratory; transporting pathogens from global satellite laboratories to clinical laboratories; long term storage of pathogens; enriching contaminated patient samples for pathogens of interest; biosurveillance and detection efforts.
STATEMENT OF FEDERAL SUPPORT
The United States Government has rights in the invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344 between the U.S. Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.