Human intestinal cryptosporidiosis: Secretory diarrhea and enterotoxic activity in Caco-2 cells

Alfredo Guarino, Roberte Berni Canani, Antonella Casola, Edoardo Pozio, Rosario Russo, Eugenia Bruzzese, Massimo Fontana, Armido Rubino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


A cell line model to detect enterotoxic effect was used to test fecal specimens of patients with enteric cryptosporidiosis. Fecal samples were obtained from 11 patients with Cryptosporidium diarrhea, and osmotic gap was determined. Caco-2 cell monolayers grown on filters were mounted in Ussing chambers, and electrical parameters were measured before and after the addition of fecal supernatant. A significant increase in short-circuit current was seen in 9 of 11 specimens. The enterotoxic effect was time- and dose-dependent, saturable, and Cl-- and Ca2+-dependent. Fecal osmotic gap was consistent with secretory diarrhea in the 9 enterotoxin-positive but not in the 2 enterotoxin-negative samples. In conclusion, a cell line model for studying the pathophysiology of enteric cryptosporidiosis was established. Enterotoxic activity was observed in most patients with enteric cryptosporidiosis and was strictly associated with secretory diarrhea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)976-983
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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