Mouse Models for Use in Cryptosporidium Infection Studies and Quantification of Parasite Burden Using Flow Cytometry, qPCR, and Histopathology

  • Karine Sonzogni-Desautels
  • Jan R. Mead
  • Momar NdaoEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2052)


Cryptosporidiosis threatens life of young children in developing countries and newborn calves around the world. No vaccine or therapy can prevent or cure this diarrhea-inducing enteric disease caused by Cryptosporidium spp. protozoan parasites. There is an essential need to discover new therapeutic drugs efficient in reducing parasite burden in infected individuals. Research therefore relies on reliable small animal models of cryptosporidiosis. Here, we present excellent mouse models which can efficiently mimic pathogenesis of human and bovine cryptosporidiosis. We also describe methods to purify C. parvum oocysts from stool and intestine of infected mice to facilitate oocyst quantification. Moreover, we present protocols using flow cytometry, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and histopathology to accurately quantify parasite burden in stool or intestine samples.


Cryptosporidium parvum Oocysts Interferon gamma knock-out mice Interferon gamma receptor knock-out mice IL-12 knock-out mice SCID mice Flow cytometry Quantitative polymerase chain reaction Histopathology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karine Sonzogni-Desautels
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jan R. Mead
    • 3
    • 4
  • Momar Ndao
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.National Reference Centre for Parasitology, Research Institute of the McGill University Health CentreMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Infectious Diseases and Immunity in Global Health ProgramResearch Institute of the McGill University Health CentreMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical CenterDecaturUSA
  4. 4.Emory University School of MedicineDepartment of PediatricsAtlantaUSA
  5. 5.Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Faculty of MedicineMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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