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Murine infection model for maintenance and amplification of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts.

By F Petry, H A Robinson and V McDonald


Propagation of Cryptosporidium parvum is problematic because in vitro development of the parasite is poor and animals are only briefly susceptible as neonates. At present oocysts of the parasite are usually procured by passage in neonatal sheep or cattle. In the present study, large numbers of oocysts of C. parvum could be isolated following infection of dexamethasone-treated adult C57BL/6 mice. The amount of immunosuppressive drug and the regimen of administration were critical for successful maintenance of the parasite, however. Routinely, 10 mice (age, 8 to 12 weeks) were injected four times on alternate days with 1.0 mg of dexamethasone, and the last injection was given on the same day as oral inoculation with 10(6) oocysts. By using a simplified procedure for oocyst purification from mouse feces, approximately 10(9) oocysts were obtained. This model is inexpensive and comparatively safe to handle, and the numbers of animals inoculated can be varied to obtain the required number of oocysts. Thus, this murine infection model would be a suitable alternative to the use of neonatal calves or sheep for efficient oocyst propagation

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1995
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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