High-yield amplification of Cryptosporidium parvum in interferon gamma receptor knockout mice

Parasitology. 2008 Sep;135(10):1151-6. doi: 10.1017/S0031182008004757. Epub 2008 Jul 31.


To date, large-scale production of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts has only been achieved by amplification in neonatal calves and sheep. Many laboratories currently depend on supplies from external sources and store oocysts for prolonged periods which results in progressive loss of viability. Six to 8-week-old interferon gamma receptor knockout (IFN gamma R-KO) mice on a C57BL/6 background were inoculated by gavage (2000 oocysts/animal). Fecal pellets were collected daily from 7 days post-infection (p.i.) up to 2 weeks p.i. Intestinal oocyst yield was assessed at days 11, 12 and 14 p.i. by homogenization of intestinal tissues. Ether extraction and one or more NaCl flotations were used to purify oocysts. Total recoveries averaged 2.6 x 10(6) oocysts/mouse from fecal material and 3.8 x 10(7) oocysts/mouse from intestinal tissues. Overall, 2.3 x 10(9) purified oocysts were obtained from 60 mice. Recovered oocysts were capable of sporulation and were shown to be infectious both in vitro and in vivo. Oocyst amplification was achieved in only 11-14 days with minimal expense. The simplicity of this method presents a practical alternative for the routine passage, maintenance and storage of C. parvum in biomedical laboratories.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cryptosporidium parvum / growth & development*
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Female
  • Interferon gamma Receptor
  • Intestines / parasitology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL / parasitology
  • Mice, Knockout / genetics
  • Mice, Knockout / parasitology*
  • Oocysts / growth & development
  • Receptors, Interferon / genetics*


  • Receptors, Interferon