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J Infect Dis. 1995 Apr;171(4):976-83.

Human intestinal cryptosporidiosis: secretory diarrhea and enterotoxic activity in Caco-2 cells.

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Department of Pediatrics, University Federico II of Naples, Italy.


A cell line model to detect enterotoxic effect was used to test fecal specimens of patients with enteric cryptosporidiosis. Fecal samples were obtained from 11 patients with Cryptosporidium diarrhea, and osmotic gap was determined. Caco-2 cell monolayers grown on filters were mounted in Ussing chambers, and electrical parameters were measured before and after the addition of fecal supernatant. A significant increase in short-circuit current was seen in 9 of 11 specimens. The enterotoxic effect was time- and dose-dependent, saturable, and Cl(-)- and Ca(2+)-dependent. Fecal osmotic gap was consistent with secretory diarrhea in the 9 enterotoxin-positive but not in the 2 enterotoxin-negative samples. In conclusion, a cell line model for studying the pathophysiology of enteric cryptosporidiosis was established. Enterotoxic activity was observed in most patients with enteric cryptosporidiosis and was strictly associated with secretory diarrhea.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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