Submitted to: Conference Research Workers Disease Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/12/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Cryptosporidium parvum is a protozoan parasite that causes intestinal infection in a variety of mammals. We have previously described a factor in adult rat or adult bovine intestinal mucosa that protects against C. parvum infection when fed to susceptible infant rats. This factor is absent in intestinal mucosa from bovine calves. In the present study we describe the further characterization of the active component of bovine intestinal mucosa. The ability to protect infant rats against C. parvum infection was found to be associated with the extrinsic membrane protein fraction of the intestinal mucosa. Extrinsic membrane preparations from adult cows, adult rats, and calves were separated by SDS-PAGE. A band with apparent molecular mass of 54 kDa was seen in preparations from adult rat and cow, but not calf. Protein was transferred to PVDF membrane and from this the band was excised and subjected to N-terminal sequence analysis using a gas-phase protein sequenator. A 15-amino acid consensus sequence was generated with homology to leucine aminopeptidase (LAP). Purified LAP was purchased from a commercial source and tested for ability to protect infant rats against C. parvum infection. Rats fed LAP from 7 to 11 days of age and challenged with C. parvum at 9 days were significantly less infected than controls upon necropsy at 15 days of age.