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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2006 Feb;57(2):353-5. Epub 2005 Dec 16.

Efficacy of nitazoxanide and paromomycin in biliary tract cryptosporidiosis in an immunosuppressed gerbil model.

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Laboratoire de Parasitologie, ADEN EA3234, CHU Charles Nicolle, Rouen, France.



To evaluate the efficacy of nitazoxanide and paromomycin in biliary tract cryptosporidiosis in an immunosuppressed Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus) model.


Gerbils (1-month-old) were dexamethasone-immunosuppressed for 10 days and challenged orally with 10(5) Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts. From day 0 to day 12 post-infection, one group (n=14) was treated with 200 mg/kg/day nitazoxanide and another (n=15) with 100 mg/kg/day paromomycin. Infection and efficacy of nitazoxanide and paromomycin were assessed by measuring oocyst shedding in faeces, biliary tract and ileum histological examination.


In nitazoxanide-treated and paromomycin-treated groups as compared with untreated animals (P<0.05), oocyst shedding was partially suppressed in a similar manner (P>0.05). Parasites were present in histological sections of the ileal mucosa of 16/16 infected untreated animals versus 3/14 and 6/15 in the nitazoxanide-treated and the paromomycin-treated groups, respectively (P<0.05). In addition, gall bladder infection was less frequent in nitazoxanide-treated (2/14, P<0.01) and paromomycin-treated (5/15, P=0.07) animals than in untreated controls (9/16). No histological alteration of biliary mucosa was observed in both treated and untreated infected gerbils.


Present data support the efficacy of nitazoxanide and, to a lesser extent, paromomycin on biliary C. parvum infection in gerbils, and prompt further investigation of the potential clinical benefits of nitazoxanide in treating human biliary cryptosporidiosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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