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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Agmatine, a Polyamine Metabolism Intermediate, Inhibits Cryptosporidium Parvum Infection in Mice

item Moore, Danielle - IOWA STATE UNIV., AMES
item Waters, Wade
item Wannemuehler, Michael - IOWA STATE UNIV., AMES
item Harp, James

Submitted to: Research Workers in Animal Diseases Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 13, 2000
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Cryptosporidium parvum is a protozoan parasite that causes intestinal infection and diarrhea in over 150 species of mammals, including humans and economically important livestock species. There are no effective vaccines or drug treatments available for this parasite. Cryptosporidium parvum has been shown to utilize a metabolic pathway not found in mammals for the synthesis of polyamines, forming agmatine as an intermediary metabolite. Thus, interference with this pathway may compromise the parasite, with minimal effects on the mammalian host. In the present study, we treated infant mice with oral doses of agmatine for 2 days before, the day of, and 5 days following, experimental infection with C. parvum. Mice treated with agmatine were significantly less infected with C. parvum than were control mice. Mice treated with agmatine only on the day of experimental infection with C. parvum were also significantly less infected than were control mice. These data suggest that agmatine affects the metabolism of C. parvum and reduces its ability to colonize murine intestinal epithelium.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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