Infection With Cryptosporidium hominis Provides Incomplete Protection of the Host Against Cryptosporidium parvum

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Abstract

Cryptosporidium hominis and Cryptosporidiumparvum, which infect humans equally, are genetically/antigenically almost identical. It remains unclear, however, whether infection with C. hominis protects against C. parvum. Gnotobiotic piglets were used to investigate cross-protection. After ≥3 days of recovery from C. hominis infection, the piglets were completely protected against subsequent challenge with C. hominis but only partially against challenge with C. parvum, as compared with age-matched control animals challenged with either species. In conclusion, C. hominis–specific immunity was sufficient to completely protect against challenge with the same species but insufficient to provide the same level of protection against C. parvum.

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