Cryptic parasite revealed: improved prospects for treatment and control of human cryptosporidiosis through advanced technologies

Jex, Aaron R., Smith, Huw V., Nolan, Matthew J., Campbell, Bronwyn E., Young , Neil D., Cantacessi, Cinzia, and Gasser, Robin B. (2011) Cryptic parasite revealed: improved prospects for treatment and control of human cryptosporidiosis through advanced technologies. In: Rollinson, D., and Hay, S.I., (eds.) Advances in Parasitology. Elsevier, pp. 141-173.

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Cryptosporidium is an important genus of parasitic protozoa of humans and other vertebrates and is a major cause of intestinal disease globally. Unlike many common causes of infectious enteritis, there are no widely available, effective vaccine or drug-based intervention strategies for Cryptosporidium, and control is focused mainly on prevention. This approach is particularly deficient for infections of severely immunocompromised and/or suppressed, the elderly or malnourished people. However, cryptosporidiosis also presents a significant burden on immunocompetent individuals, and can, for example have lasting effects on the physical and mental development of children infected at an early age. In the last few decades, our understanding of Cryptosporidium has expanded significantly in numerous areas, including the parasite life-cycle, the processes of excystation, cellular invasion and reproduction, and the interplay between parasite and host. Nonetheless, despite extensive research, many aspects of the biology of Cryptosporidium remain unknown, and treatment and control are challenging. Here, we review the current state of knowledge of Cryptosporidium, with a focus on major advances arising from the recently completed genome sequences of the two species of greatest relevance in humans, namely Cryptosporidium hominis and Cryptosporidium parvum. In addition, we discuss the potential of next-generation sequencing technologies, new advances in in silico analyses and progress in in vitro culturing systems to bridge these gaps and to lead toward effective treatment and control of cryptosporidiosis.

Item ID: 26430
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-0-12-391429-3
ISSN: 0065-308x
Keywords: Cryptosporidium; genomics; transcriptomics; drug targets; essentiality
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Melbourne Water Corporation
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2013 02:54
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1108 Medical Microbiology > 110803 Medical Parasitology @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060408 Genomics @ 30%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0605 Microbiology > 060503 Microbial Genetics @ 20%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920109 Infectious Diseases @ 60%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920406 Food Safety @ 10%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 30%
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