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Chapter 19 : Cryptosporidium Species
Category: Applied and Industrial Microbiology; Food Microbiology
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Cryptosporidium species cause one of the common opportunistic infections in immunocompromised persons. Due to lack of effective treatment, Cryptosporidium infection can cause prolonged and often life-threatening diarrhea in AIDS patients. The use of molecular biologic tools has made significant contributions to one's understanding of the biology and epidemiology of Cryptosporidium species. This chapter provides a snapshot of the Cryptosporidium genomes and discusses what has been learned about cryptosporidiosis from the genomic data. It discusses the key features of the Cryptosporidium genomes. Cryptosporidium hominis used to be one of the genotype of C. parvum but was renamed as a separate species a few years ago based largely on the host specificity, pathogenicity, and sequence differences from type II C. parvum at various genomic loci. The C. hominis genome shares an extremely high degree of similarity with that of C. parvum. The major metabolic pathways encoded by the compact Cryptosporidium genome are highly streamlined by the absence of virtually all de novo synthetic capacities, such as those for amino acids, nucleotides, and fatty acids. The chapter deals with genomic data associated with host-pathogen interactions and pathogenesis, genomics and the development of molecular diagnostic and epidemiologic tools, and genome sequencing and public health. The lack of progress in research on the treatment of and vaccines against cryptosporidiosis is a particular public health concern. Better collaboration among molecular biologists, parasitologists, clinicians and other public health researchers, and the support of public health institutions, funding agencies, and policy decision makers will increase this progress.
Key Concept Ranking
- Type II Fatty Acid Synthase
Nucleotide sequence alignment of the two major copies of the partial ITS-1 (8611-8829), 5.8S (8830-8988, bold type), ITS-2 (8989-9545), and partial 28S (9546-9590, underlined) rRNA genes of C. hominis. The 5.8S gene of C. parvum is identical to the sequence AAEL01000242.
Major features of the Cryptosporidium genome in comparison with other apicomplexans