Cryptosporidium parvum (Apicomplexa) has emerged as an important opportunistic pathogen of patients suffering from the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Gastrointestinal involvement may become so severe in victims of AIDS that death due to diarrheal dehydration and electrolyte imbalance may occur. Our laboratory is currently examining the basic biology of surface and endogenous proteins and glycoproteins of sporozoites of C. parvum, and have developed methods of studying the parasite in vitro. Based on our preliminary observations, we believe methods can be developed whereby pharmaceutical screening and mass cultivation of C. parvum can be achieved. We propose to study the effects of atmospheric 02, host cell type, and nutritional additives in order to develop optimal conditions by which C. parvum can be studied in cultured cells.
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