Blog #1

My fall and spring project are continuing my research project on new strategies for the treatment of childhood diarrhea in developing countries. Cryptosporidium Parvum(C. Parvum) is a protozoan parasite that causes cryptosporidiosis or human diarrhea. This disease is a leading cause of death among children under five years of age in developing countries. The C. parvum genome project has identified the presence of a mitochondrial enzyme termed, the C. parvum alternative oxidase (CpAOX), which is a potential target for drug development. This study aims to characterize the enzyme active site, with the long-term goal of providing essential information for inhibitor development.

For last year project, we were focusing on clone and express the CpAOX in order to determine its substrate specificity. However, for this year, the project is more about examining the feces of the mice. Professor Nigel Yarlett and team have successfully grown Cryptosporidium Parvum in the column. Therefore, we are testing it in vivo. There are three different groups of mice that are examined. The first one is the mice that infected with Cryptosporidium Parvum that have been growing in the column, the second one is infected the mice with Cryptosporidium Parvum have been purchased from a company (this specific Cryptosporidium Parvum have been successfully infecting cow) and the last one is a mice that was not infected by Cryptosporidium Parvum.

The goal of this project is to ensure that Cryptosporidium Parvum parasites growing properly in the column so that we can use it to characterize enzyme activity site. If Cryptosporidium Parvum parasites can successfully infect the mice, it means that the parasites are functional.

The feces from a different group of mice have been collected. Some feces solution was examined under the microscope by using acid-fast method. The purpose of this experiment is to determine the effectiveness of Cryptosporidium Parvum parasite infected the mice. Observing the present or absent from the oocysts (red dot) in the mice stool is the main focus of this experiment.

There are a couple of mice in feces have been examined. Some of it is the mice that have been infected with Cryptosporidium Parvum from the column. We discovered that a lot of oocysts present in the sample. More of observation of the feces from different group of mice will be examine.

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