Volume 68, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


To examine the importance of intestinal inflammation in the diagnosis and pathogenesis of human cryptosporidiosis, stools of healthy adult volunteers before and after experimental infection were tested for fecal lactoferrin, interleukin-8 (IL-8), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). Stool samples of Brazilian children with well-defined infection, with or without diarrhea, were also tested for IL-8 and TNF-α. Only one of the 14 volunteers challenged with had increased fecal lactoferrin. However, of 17 stool specimens from children with only infection from a previous study, 12 had mild to moderately elevated lactoferrin despite negative work-up for inflammatory enteritides. One of 10 adult volunteers who developed diarrhea with experimental cryptosporidiosis and three of 11 children with cryptosporidiosis and diarrhea had detectable fecal IL-8. The level of TNF-α was increased only in one of 14 volunteers and in none of the children. Although considered relatively non-inflammatory, cryptosporidiosis is often associated with mild inflammation, especially in children in an endemic area.


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  • Received : 11 Jun 2001
  • Accepted : 31 Jan 2002

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