Cryptosporidhim parvun: Intensity of infection and oocyst excretion patterns in healthy volunteers

Cynthia L. Chappell, Pablo C. Okhuysen, Charles R. Sterling, Herbert L. DuPont

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


Data about human Cryptosporidium parvum infection have originated from travelers, community and day care center outbreaks, and persons infected with the human immunodeficiency virus. In addition, experimental infection in 29 antibody-negative, healthy, adult volunteers generated information on the dose-infection response of C. parvum (Iowa strain). In that report, low inocula were sufficient to cause infection in 18 and illness in 7 persons. To further define the duration and intensity of infection in this population, oocyst shedding patterns were investigated in the 18 subjects infected with C. parvum. Oocyst quantitation revealed that volunteers with diarrheal illness (n = 7) excreted more oocysts over the course of the infection than did volunteers without diarrhea (n = 11; P < .05). Symptomatic subjects were more likely to shed oocysts on consecutive days. Further, a statistical nonsignificant inverse trend (r2 = .330, P = .136) was seen between challenge dose and total excreted oocysts. This paradox may relate to receptor saturation or a toxic effect on cells, parasites, or both afforded by a high inoculum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)232-236
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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