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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2010 Jun;17(6):954-65. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00073-10. Epub 2010 Apr 21.

Cloning and characterization of the acidic ribosomal protein P2 of Cryptosporidium parvum, a new 17-kilodalton antigen.

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Division of Parasitic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway, NE, Mail Stop F-13, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA.


Cryptosporidium infection is commonly observed among children and immunocompromised individuals in developing countries, but large-scale outbreaks of disease among adults have not been reported. In contrast, outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis in the United States and Canada are increasingly common among patients of all ages. Thus, it seems likely that residents of regions where Cryptosporidium is highly endemic acquire some level of immunity, while residents of the developed world do not. A new immunodominant Cryptosporidium parvum antigen in the 15- to 17-kDa size range was identified as the Cryptosporidium parvum 60S acidic ribosomal protein P2 (CpP2). We developed a recombinant protein-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for serologic population surveillance for antibodies that was 89% sensitive and 92% specific relative to the results of the large-format Western blot assay. The human IgG response is directed almost exclusively toward the highly conserved, carboxy-terminal 15 amino acids of the protein. Although IgG antibody cross-reactivity was documented with sera from patients with acute babesiosis, the development of an anti-CpP2 antibody response in our Peru study population correlated better with Cryptosporidium infection than with infection by any other parasitic protozoan. In Haiti, the prevalence of antibodies to CpP2 plateaus at 11 to 20 years of age. Because anti-CpP2 IgG antibodies were found only among residents of countries in the developing world where Cryptosporidium infection occurs early and often, we propose that this response may be a proxy for the intensity of infection and for acquired immunity.

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