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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Oral Administration of Putrescine Inhibits Cryptosporidium Parvum Infectionof Neonatal C57bl-6 Mice and Is Independent of Nitric Oxide Synthesis

item Waters, W - IA STATE UNIV., AMES, IA
item Reinhardt, Timothy
item Harp, James

Submitted to: Infection and Immunity
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 13, 1997
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Cryptosporidiosis is a diarrheal disease of young calves and results in major economic loss to producers. This disease is caused by a parasite, Cryptosporidium parvum. Currently, there are no effective treatments or vaccines that protect calves from this parasite. In this study, we have shown that a naturally-occurring compound (putrescine) is capable of preventing C. parvum infection in a mouse model of this disease of calves. This compound is known to have potent effects on the growth and development of the intestines of animals. These effects appear to prevent infection with C. parvum. Thus, this compound may be effective in preventing the disease in calves. The prevention of cryptosporidiosis of calves would be of significant economic value for the livestock industry.

Technical Abstract: We examined the efficacy of oral administration of putrescine (a byproduct of arginine metabolism) in the prevention of Cryptosporidium parvum infection of neonatal C57BL-6 mice. Mice were challenged with the parasite at 7 days of age. Mice receiving putrescine from 3 through 10 days of age had a delayed pattern of infection as compared with control mice. Mice receiving putrescine from 3 through 21 days of age did not become infected, whereas control mice were heavily infected. We also tested the hypothesis that putrescine inhibited C. parvum infection by enhancing nitric oxide (NO) production. Mice receiving the NO inhibitor N -L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) parenterally and putrescine orally did not become infected, whereas mice receiving L-NAME parenterally and phosphate buffered saline solution orally did become infected. Thus, it appears that putrescine inhibits C. parvum infection in an NO-independent manner.

Last Modified: 4/21/2015
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