The Sterling Parasitology Laboratory is located at the University of Arizona within the School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences. The lab is one of the largest producers of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts and ships to numerous customers worldwide. Cryptosporidium research efforts in the Sterling Parasitology Laboratory have contributed to monoclonal antibody detection techniques, production and purification methods, viability testing methods and genomic identification methods.
Production of the Iowa isolate oocysts consists of propagation in neonatal Holstein calves approximately 1 - 2 times per month. The oocysts are purified using discontinuous sucrose and cesium chloride centrifugation gradients. Our purified oocysts are stored at 4 degrees Celsius in an antibiotic solution
containing 0.01% Tween 20, 100U of penicillin, 100 ug of gentamicin per ml.
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About Cryptosporidium parvum
Cryptosporidium parvum is a protozoan parasite that causes widespread gastrointestinal illness. The infective form of the parasite is extremely environmentally hardy and has a high resistance to disinfectants including chlorine. Transmission occurs via consumption of contaminated water or food, or through person-to-person contact. Once oocysts are ingested they excyst in the small intestine and result in infection of intestinal epithelial tissue. Symptoms typically include nausea, vomiting, dehydration, malabsorption, stomach cramping, and watery diarrhea. The infection is self-limiting in healthy people, but can cause serious health issues for children and immunocompromised individuals. There is no reliable treatment for infection and symptoms are typically targeted with rehydration salts and large amounts of fluids.
Source: CDC Public Health Image Library