Volume 60, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


A 50% infectious dose (ID50) of 132 Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts was previously determined in serologically negative individuals (ELISA). In this study, 17 healthy adults with pre-existing anti-C. parvum serum IgG were challenged with 500-50,000 oocysts. Infection and diarrhea were associated with the higher challenge doses. The ID50 was 1,880 oocysts, > 20-fold higher than in seronegative volunteers. Fecal oocysts were detected in only seven (53.8%) of 13 individuals with clinical cryptosporidiosis, indicating that the host response may effectively decrease the number of oocysts produced. Subjects with the highest absorbances prior to challenge had little to no increase in IgG following challenge, whereas volunteers with lower reactivities showed significant postchallenge increases. This suggests that an upper limit of serum IgG was present in some subjects, while others were further stimulated by an additional exposure. These data indicate that prior exposure to C. parvum provides protection from infection and illness at low oocyst doses.


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