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Effects of gamma irradiation on in vitro excystation of CRYPTOSPORIDIUM PARVUM oocysts were tested to elucidate requirements for inducing in vitro excystation. Gamma irradiation treatment was applied at 200 krads, 2,000 krads, and 5,000 krads. Oocysts receiving 200 krad of gamma irradiation excysted at the same rates as non-irradiated control oocysts (95%); the excystation rates were lowered (50%) by irradiation of 2,000 krads; and no excystation was observed when oocysts were irradiated with 5,000 krads. Most of the sporozoites exposed to 2,000 krads were permeable to propidium iodide (PI positive) after excystation. The dye permeability results were only slightly altered by acid pretreatment. No differences were observed between the dye permeability of untreated control oocysts and oocysts treated with 200 krads. The results suggest that live sporozoites may not be necessary for inducing excystation, although enzymes from the sporozoites (viable or not) may be required for excystation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2000

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