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New developments in Cryptosporidium research

Ryan, U. and Hijjawi, N. (2015) New developments in Cryptosporidium research. International Journal for Parasitology, 45 (6). pp. 367-373.

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Cryptosporidium is an enteric parasite that is considered the second greatest cause of diarrhoea and death in children after rotavirus. Currently, 27 species are recognised as valid and of these, Cryptosporidium hominis and Cryptosporidium parvum are responsible for the majority of infections in humans. Molecular and biological studies indicate that Cryptosporidium is more closely related to gregarine parasites rather than to coccidians. The identification of gregarine-like gamont stages and the ability of Cryptosporidium to complete its life cycle in the absence of host cells further confirm its relationship with gregarines. This opens new avenues into the investigation of pathogenesis, epidemiology, treatment and control of Cryptosporidium. Effective drug treatments and vaccines are not yet available due, in part, to the technical challenges of working on Cryptosporidium in the laboratory. Whole genome sequencing and metabolomics have expanded our understanding of the biochemical requirements of this organism and have identified new drug targets. To effectively combat this important pathogen, increased funding is essential.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2015 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc.
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