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Dehydroepiandrosterone-Induced Reduction of Cryptosporidium parvum Infections in Aged Syrian Golden Hamsters
Kathleen R. Rasmussen and Mark C. Healey
The Journal of Parasitology
Vol. 78, No. 3 (Jun., 1992), pp. 554-557
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3283670
Page Count: 4
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Cryptosporidiosis, a parasitic disorder caused by Cryptosporidium parvum, is frequently a fulminating and life-threatening disease in immunocompromised hosts. The immune status of the host plays a critical role in determining the length and severity of the disease. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is an immunomodulator that has been demonstrated to upregulate immune parameters. Ten aged (20-24 mo) Syrian golden hamsters were treated with DHEA for 7 days prior to intragastric inoculation with 1 × 106 C. parvum oocysts. An additional 10 aged hamsters were infected similarly but retained as untreated controls. The untreated hamsters presented with generalized infections as determined by oocyst shedding in the feces and parasite colonization of the small intestine. Hamsters treated with DHEA exhibited a significant reduction in cryptosporidial infection when compared to untreated hamsters. These results suggest that DHEA may be an effective prophylactic agent for cryptosporidiosis in immunocompromised patients.
The Journal of Parasitology © 1992 The American Society of Parasitologists