Interferon-γ expression in jejunal biopsies in experimental human cryptosporidiosis correlates with prior sensitization and control of oocyst excretion

A. Clinton White, Prema Robinson, Pablo C. Okhuysen, Dorothy E. Lewis, Imram Shahab, Sandeep Lahoti, Herbert L. DuPont, Cynthia L. Chappell

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47 Scopus citations


To investigate the role of interferon (IFN)-γ in human cryptosporidiosis, jejunal biopsies from experimentally infected volunteers and chronically infected AIDS patients were examined for IFN-γ expression by in situ hybridization. IFN-γ expression was compared with oocyst excretion, baseline serum anti-Cryptosporidium antibody, and symptoms. IFN- γ mRNA was detected in biopsies from 13 of 26 volunteers after experimental infection but not in biopsies taken before C. parvum exposure or in biopsies from patients with AIDS-associated cryptosporidiosis. After challenge, 9 of 10 volunteers with baseline C. parvum antibody produced IFN-γ, compared with 4 of 16 volunteers without baseline antibody (P < .01). Furthermore, IFN-γ mRNA was detected in 9 of 13 volunteers who did not excrete oocysts, compared with 4 of 13 with organisms (P< .05). Thus, expression of IFN-γ in the jejunum was associated with prior sensitization and absence of oocyst shedding. IFN-γ production may explain the resistance to infection noted in sensitized persons but may not be involved in control of human primary infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)701-709
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 15 2000


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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