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Open Access Research article

Serum immunoglobulin G, M and A response to Cryptosporidium parvum in Cryptosporidium-HIV co-infected patients

Kirti Kaushik1, Sumeeta Khurana1, Ajay Wanchu2 and Nancy Malla1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Parasitology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh-160 012, India

2 Department of Internal Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh-160 012, India

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2009, 9:179  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-9-179

Published: 18 November 2009

Abstract

Background

Cryptosporidium parvum, the protozoan parasite, causes a significant enteric disease in immunocompromised hosts such as HIV patients. The present study was aimed to compare serum IgG, IgM and IgA responses to crude soluble antigen of C. parvum in HIV seropositive and seronegative patients co-infected with Cryptosporidium and to correlate the responses with symptomatology.

Methods

Cryptosporidium parvum specific serum antibody (IgG, IgM and IgA) responses were assessed by ELISA in 11 HIV seropositive Cryptosporidium positive (Group I), 20 HIV seropositive Cryptosporidium negative (Group II), 10 HIV seronegative Cryptosporidium positive (Group III), 20 HIV seronegative Cryptosporidium negative healthy individuals (Group IV) and 25 patients with other parasitic diseases (Group V).

Results

A positive IgG and IgA antibody response was observed in significantly higher number of Cryptosporidium infected individuals (Gp I and III) compared to Cryptosporidium un-infected individuals (Gp II, IV and V) irrespective of HIV/immune status. Sensitivity of IgG ELISA in our study was found to be higher as compared to IgM and IgA ELISA. The number of patients with positive IgG, IgM and IgA response was not significantly different in HIV seropositive Cryptosporidium positive patients with diarrhoea when compared to patients without diarrhoea and in patients with CD4 counts <200 when compared to patients with CD4 counts >200 cells/μl.

Conclusion

The study showed specific serum IgG and IgA production in patients infected with Cryptosporidium, both HIV seropositive and seronegative as compared to uninfected subjects suggesting induction of Cryptosporidium specific humoral immune response in infected subjects. However, there was no difference in number of patients with positive response in HIV seropositive or seronegative groups indicating that HIV status may not be playing significant role in modulation of Cryptosporidium specific antibody responses. The number of patients with positive IgG, IgM and IgA response was not significantly different in patients with or without history of diarrhoea thereby indicating that Cryptosporidium specific antibody responses may not be necessarily associated with protection from symptomatology.