Complete development and long-term maintenance of Cryptosporidium parvum human and cattle genotypes in cell culture

Int J Parasitol. 2001 Aug;31(10):1048-55. doi: 10.1016/s0020-7519(01)00212-0.


This study describes the complete development (from sporozoites to sporulated oocysts) of Cryptosporidium parvum (human and cattle genotypes) in the HCT-8 cell line. Furthermore, for the first time the complete life cycle was perpetuated in vitro for up to 25 days by subculturing. The long-term maintenance of the developmental cycle of the parasite in vitro appeared to be due to the initiation of the auto-reinfection cycle of C. parvum. This auto-reinfection is characterised by the production and excystation of new invasive sporozoites from thin-walled oocysts, with subsequent maintenance of the complete life cycle in vitro. In addition, thin-walled oocysts of the cattle genotype were infective for ARC/Swiss mice but similar oocysts of the human genotype were not. This culture system will provide a model for propagation of the complete life cycle of C. parvum in vitro.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Assay
  • Cattle
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cryptosporidium parvum / cytology
  • Cryptosporidium parvum / genetics
  • Cryptosporidium parvum / growth & development*
  • DNA, Protozoan / chemistry
  • DNA, Protozoan / genetics
  • DNA, Protozoan / isolation & purification
  • DNA, Ribosomal / chemistry
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • DNA, Ribosomal / isolation & purification
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Interference
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • DNA, Protozoan
  • DNA, Ribosomal