Adaptation of Cryptosporidium oocysts to different excystation conditions
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Within the bacteria genus Cryptosporidium, two lineages (adapted to gastric or small intestine environments) have evolved. We tested whether the excystation (releasing of sporozoites), is triggered by conditions mimicking the site of infection (acid or neutral conditions). We found that oocysts from the gastric species C. muris and, C. andersoni excysted in both conditions, whereas the intestinal species C. parvum and C. hominis did not respond to acid. Testing the effect of temperature on C. muris andC. parvum alone, only C. parvum oocysts were excysted significantly. Oocysts from intestinal species did not respond to or temperature alone, nor to acidity. These observations indicate that Cryptosporidium oocysts have evolved to maximize delivery of sporozoites to the region of the gastro-intestinal tract where the parasite multiplies.
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