The pathogen transport methods used today continue to have issues surrounding loss of pathogenic or virulence genes. Thus, many pathogens are not in their primed, infectious state when they reach the lab from the clinic or hospital. In addition to these transport methods, current methods used for pathogen storage and purification also have issues surrounding loss of virulence factors or other selective advantages utilized by pathogens in their natural environment. Creating a solution to these issues enables advances in research methods, medical treatments, and a number of other applications.


A select number of intracellular pathogens persist naturally in some amoebas and their cysts. LLNL has invented a technology that exploits this process to use amoeba cysts as natural containers for portable transport and long term storage. In addition, this novel encystment system incorporates sample purification and enrichment for clinical samples, taken in the hospital, lab, or any natural environment.


This technology has several advantages over current practices:

  • Maintenance of pathogenic factors in microbes during transport and storage; and
  • Novel use in purification of microbial samples.


Potential Applications

Uses of the invention include:

  • Remote or proximal transport of pathogens in an effective manner
  • Storage of pathogens at room temperature
  • Purification and enrichment of clinical samples and cultures