Cryptosporidiosis is a parasitic infection primarily of animals that has been recently recognized as an important disease in immunocompromised humans. Most cases to date have occurred in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Persons with abnormal humoral or cellular immune function, and even normal subjects, have also been affected.

To determine whether or not mice, when experimentally immunosuppressed, would develop cryptosporidiosis, a test was designed using the AKR/J strain. This strain was selected because, it was previously reported that it was the strain shown to respond most readily to the production of disease caused by the opportunistic protozoan, Pneumocystis carinii. Tests were done with these mice housed in a room with other mice. In another test the were housed in a vinyl isolator in a separate room. These mice were fed a low (8%) protein diet and dexamethasone in their drinking water. Results show that the mice kept in the room with other mice, but in separate cages, developed intestinal cryptosporidiosis as well as Pneumocystis carinii in their lungs. However, only seventeen out of thirty mice that were placed in the isolator developed the infection. These results suggest that the organisms were latent in the mouse host.

In addition to the development of cryptosporidiosis in the immunosuppressed mice, an attempt was made to demonstrate the life cycle of the organism in cell culture. The results showed that Cryptosporidium completed its life cycle in a human foreskin cell line (LFS). Cryptosporidium had previously been successfully cultured by other in primary chicken kidney, porcine kidney and human fetal lung cells. This experiment demonstrates that an additional cell line can be used to grow these organisms in cell culture.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

Edward D. Wagner

Second Advisor

Robert L. Nutter

Third Advisor

John E. Lewis

Fourth Advisor

Bruce R. Wilcox

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Cryptosporidiosis; Protozoan Infections; Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes



Page Count

vi; 56

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives