Catalog Home Page

Recent advances in the developmental biology and life cycle of Cryptosporidium

Hijjawi, N.S., Boxell, A.C. and Thompson, R.C.A. (2009) Recent advances in the developmental biology and life cycle of Cryptosporidium. In: Ortega-Pierres, G., Cacciò, S., Fayer, R., Mank, T.G., Smith, H.V. and Thompson, R.C.A., (eds.) Giardia and Cryptosporidium: from molecules to disease. CABI, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK, pp. 255-265.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


Cryptosporidium is an apicomplexan parasite that has gained much attention as a clinically important human pathogen since the late 1980s; however, little is known regarding the developmental biology of this parasite. Recent molecular and biological studies provide evidence that Cryptosporidium should be placed in a taxonomic group separate from the coccidia and closer to the gregarines (reviewed in Barta and Thompson, 2006). Furthermore, novel extracellular gregarine-like life cycle stages have been described. In addition to these findings, Hijjawi et al. (2004) reported the cell-free propagation of the life cycle of C. parvum, which also led to the identification of developmental stages similar to those observed in some gregarine species. The completion of the life cycle of Cryptosporidium in the absence of host cells raises many questions about the developmental nature of this parasite and its relationship to lower species of apicomplexans such as gregarines. This chapter covers recent observations on the developmental biology and life cycle of Cryptosporidium in an attempt to highlight more facts on the evolutionary biology of this unique parasite. Similarities between Cryptosporidium and some gregarine species are also included.

Publication Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: CABI
Item Control Page Item Control Page