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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: 
2010-09-01 - 2022-10-05
Type of Project: 
Research Area: 
Health Research


United States

McGill University Project Leader Information

Project Leader: 

Momar Ndao

Primary Position

Faculty of Medicine
McGill University Health Centre (MUHC)
Assistant Professor
Research Interests: 
During the past few years increased awareness of parasitic infections has led to newly recognized parasites, emerging pathogens, and bioterrorism considerations; the fields of diagnostic medical parasitology, treatment and vaccines are undergoing dramatic change. My laboratory has interests in 1) diagnosis of parasitic diseases 2) the study of host-parasite interactions; 3) screening drugs to be used as therapies for protozoan parasitic disease; 4) developing vaccines to prevent parasitic diseases and 5) applying proteomic technology to discover biomarkers for infectious diseases.
  • Laboratory Director- NRCP at National Reference Centre for Parasitology (NRCP)/McGill University Tropical Diseases Centre
  • Assistant Profesor at McGill University- Department of Medicine
Selected Publications: 

Plourde M, Coelho A, Keynan Y, Larios OE, Ndao M, Ruest A, Roy G, Rubinstein E, Ouellette M.
Genetic polymorphisms and drug susceptibility in four isolates of Leishmania tropica obtained from Canadian soldiers returning from Afghanistan. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2012 Jan;6(1):e1463. Epub 2012 Jan 17.

Sampasa-Kanyinga H, Lévesque B, Anassour-Laouan-Sidi E, Côté S, Serhir B, Ward BJ, Libman MD, Drebot MA, Ndao M, Dewailly E.
Zoonotic Infections in Native Communities of James Bay, Canada. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2012 Jan 4. [Epub ahead of print]

Ndao M.
Biomarker discovery in serum/plasma using surface enhanced laser desorption ionization time of flight (SELDI-TOF) mass spectrometry. Methods Mol Biol. 2012;818:67-79.

Kassa FA, Shio MT, Bellemare MJ, Faye B, Ndao M, Olivier M.
New inflammation-related biomarkers during malaria infection. PLoS One. 2011;6(10):e26495. Epub 2011 Oct 20.

Amos FF, Ndao M, Ponce CB, Evans JS.
A C-RING-like domain participates in protein self-assembly and mineral nucleation. Biochemistry. 2011 Oct 18;50(41):8880-7. Epub 2011 Sep 26.

Principal Investigator

Non-McGill Partners


James McKerrow

United States
University of California, San Francisco