Drug Screening for Cryptosporidium Parvum

Project Information

Ubiquitous and highly contagious, Cryptosporidium parvum (C. parvum) is major health concern for various reasons. It is highly resistant to various disinfectants and filtration treatments, it shows high morbidity and mortality in young children, elderly and AIDS patients. It can impair a whole population in a matter of days as it was described in the Milwaukee outbreak and it requires an infectious dose as low as 1 oocyst. Infected individuals or livestock can produce billions of oocysts in a few days which are more than enough to infect the whole human populace. For these reasons the CDC has categorized C. parvum as a class B bioterrorism weapon. In developing countries where water treatment facilities are usually non-existing; in these communities C. parvum is an even bigger threat as they are exposed to contaminated water every day. These people are already afflicted by poverty and malnourishment, disease can only worsen things. Unfortunately, there are no effective treatments against the parasite. Even the currently used drugs have little success in clearing or help clearing the parasite. Therefore, it is more than urgent to find new drug targets, new prophylaxis treatments or vaccines. Regardless of bioterrorism, every year, millions of individuals worldwide contract this newly emerging disease and should have the rights to be attended with proper medication.

Project Date: 
09/01/2010 to 10/05/2022
Type of Project: 
Research Area: 
Health Research
United States
McGill University Project Leader Information
Principal Investigator
Non-McGill Partners
James McKerrow

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