A Physiological Mouse Model for Cryptosporidiosis
Boris Striepen of the University of Georgia in the U.S. will develop a new, more natural mouse model for cryptosporidiosis, which is a leading cause of severe diarrhea in children, to help identify effective treatments. Unlike previous mouse models of this disease, these mice do not need to be immune deficient as they can be infected by a natural strain of the Cryptosporidium parasite, which they previous isolated from house mice. They will genetically modify this strain so it will fluoresce and can thus be easily located in the mice and within individual cells. These mice also experience symptoms more similar to the human disease, and they will use it to assess the effects of malnutrition, which often co-occurs with infection and appears to worsen symptoms. They will also study the effect of different bacterial communities in the gut on disease progression and the effects of existing and emerging treatments.