Submitted to: Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Cryptosporidium parvum is a protozoan parasite that infects intestinal epithelium of may species of mammals, including humans and young ruminants such as bovine calves. There are presently no effective therapies or preventive measures available to control this infection. Susceptibility to infection is at least partly age-related. Generally, young animals are more susceptible than adults. In rodents, acquisition of resistance to C. parvum infection coincides with weaning, development of mature intestinal microflora, and maturation of intestinal epithelium. These maturational changes include altered expression of intestinal enzymes, and an increased rate of epithelial cell proliferation. In the present study, we compared the expression of the intestinal disaccharidases, sucrase and lactase, in infant mice infected or not infected with C. parvum. We also compared the amount of intestinal cell proliferation in mice infected or not infected with C. parvum. We found that infected mice had more intestinal sucrase and less lactase at 2 wk of age compared to noninfected mice. Infected mice also had approximately twice as many proliferating cells in intestinal crypt epithelium as did noninfected mice at 2 wk of age.