Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 6, 1995
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Cryptosporidium parvum (Cp) is a pathogen for humans and domestic animals. Despite the testing of nearly 200 antimicrobial compounds there are no well accepted drugs for prevention or treatment of this disease. Based on recent reports that a group of chemotherapeutic drugs, benzimidazoles, was effective for treatment of parasites related to Cp, we undertook the present study. Our findings demonstrated that of 5 such drugs tested, none effectively prevented development of Cp in experimentally infected mice.
The need for an effective compound for the prevention and treatment of cryptosporidiosis in humans and animals has led to the testing of benzimidazoles based on reports that albendazole was clinically effective against related protozoan parasites causing microsporidiosis in humans. Albendazole and other benzimidazole derivatives were tested for prophylactic efficacy against cryptosporidiosis. Dosage levels of thiabendazole, parbendazole, oxibendazole, mebendazole and albendazole, as high as 200, 30, 10, 15, and 15 mg/kg of body weight, respectively, were not efficacious in neonatal mice. Although the number of parasites in histologic sections of intestine from mice medicated with 15 mg albendazole /kg of body weight was significantly lower than in unmedicated control mice, suggesting activity against the parasite, a high percentage of epithelial cells in the medicated mice were infected.