Cryptosporidium causes life threatening enteric disease in HIV-AIDS patients. Immunocompetent individuals are susceptible, but here symptoms are self-limiting. Cryptosporidium is also well known to cause diarrhea in small children. However, the full impact of Cryptosporidium on child mortality and morbidity was only recently appreciated. After rotavirus, Cryptosporidium is the most common pathogen responsible for severe diarrhea in children under 2 years. The main roadblock to achieving urgently needed advances is the overall poor tractability of Cryptosporidium in the laboratory. The goal of this project is to develop genetic tools for this parasite, and the effort builds on ou recent breakthrough in achieving transfection for C. parvum. Specifically, we will use the assay in hand to iteratively optimize transfection vectors and protocols for Cryptosporidium. We will devise strategies to select and isolate stable transgenic parasites from infected animals, and we will use these tools to establish a reporter model for Cryptosporidium. Such reporter pathogens will immediately open the disease to study and establish robust and quantitative correlates of infection, pathogenesis, drug cure, and immune-protection. In the long term, the ability to modify the parasite's genome will enable fundamental discovery and translate into tools and opportunities to treat and prevent cryptosporidiosis.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
1R01AI112427-01A1
Application #
8790232
Study Section
AIDS-associated Opportunistic Infections and Cancer Study Section (AOIC)
Program Officer
Joy, Deirdre A
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
University of Georgia
Department
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Type
Organized Research Units
DUNS #
City
Athens
State
GA
Country
United States
Zip Code
30602