A technique for typing Cryptosporidium isolates.

Gordon Nichols*, James McLauchlin, Dhanraj Samuel

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)


    Antigens extracted from Cryptosporidium oocysts, which had been purified from faeces or chick egg culture, were electrophoresed in sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels, and blotted onto nitrocellulose membranes. A Cryptosporidium genus-specific monoclonal antibody MAb-C1 bound to multiple bands using several detection techniques, and these corresponded to bands detected using immune rabbit antisera. Using a detection system with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labelled MAb-C1 and alkaline phosphatase-labelled anti-FITC, bands were detected between 50 and 300 kDa. Blots were examined directly and by using a laser scanner. The system was shown to be specific for Cryptosporidium spp., giving no staining with a variety of other pathogens, and with negative samples. The oocyst antigen which bound MAb-C1 was stable, and banding patterns were not significantly affected by pretreatment of oocysts with proteinase K, trypsin, formalin, or sodium hypochlorite, methods commonly used during preparation and storage of C. parvum oocysts. However, banding was reduced with potassium dichromate. Of 76 samples containing Cryptosporidium oocysts, 53 showed one or more MAb-C1 staining bands. Cryptosporidium baileyi and C. parvum could be clearly differentiated by their banding patterns, indicating that the system will distinguish between species. Some isolates, including a single isolate of C. muris, produced weak bands which made interpretation difficult. The technique showed differences between isolates of C. parvum, with two different banding types found in human isolates, and other banding types seen in calf and lamb isolates. This method provides a useful way of characterising isolates which may be new species.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)237S-240S
    JournalThe Journal of protozoology
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 1991


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