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Infect Immun. 1993 Aug;61(8):3548-51.

Gamma interferon functions in resistance to Cryptosporidium parvum infection in severe combined immunodeficient mice.

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  • 1Trudeau Institute, Inc., Saranac Lake, New York 12983.


Severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) adult mice are relatively resistant to Cryptosporidium parvum infection, even though they are deficient in both T- and B-cell function. The requirement for gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) in this resistance was examined by treatment of these mice with monoclonal antibody to IFN-gamma. SCID mice injected intraperitoneally with monoclonal anti-IFN-gamma 4 h before and three times weekly after challenge with C. parvum had heavy intestinal infections 3 weeks postchallenge. SCID mice similarly injected with irrelevant antibody were not infected. Furthermore, SCID mice receiving a single injection of anti-IFN-gamma either 2 h before or 18 h after challenge were also susceptible to infection. Although IFN-gamma was not detected in SCID mouse intestinal samples, it was found in the supernatant of SCID mouse splenocyte cultures after stimulation with C. parvum antigens. On the other hand, SCID mice receiving multiple injections of antibodies against tumor necrosis factor remained resistant to infection. These data indicate that the resistance of SCID mice to C. parvum infection is IFN-gamma dependent, whereas tumor necrosis factor appears not to play a significant role.

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