Winning Abstracts from the 2006 National Medical Student Abstract Competition: Detection and Quantification of Cryptosporidium Parvum in HCT-8 Cells and Human Fecal Specimens using Real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction Assay.
Author: Jonathan B. Parr, University of Virginia School of Medicine, 2008
Cryptosporidium parvum is a significant cause of diarrheal illness worldwide, especially among children and immunocompromised patients. Currently used diagnostic techniques are time-consuming, require skilled technicians, and are not useful for quantification of oocysts in fecal and environmental samples.
In this study, we examined the utility of a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for detecting and quantifying Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts in three distinct sets of samples: phosphate buffered saline (PBS), HCT-8 cells (human ileocecal carcinoma), and human fecal specimens. A reliable standard curve was generated using the PBS samples spiked with pure oocysts, and oocyst starting quantities were calculated for the infected HCT-8 cell and spiked fecal samples.
The average difference between known and calculated starting quantities was 1.4±0.3 logs oocysts/sample for the HCT-8 cells and 2.2±0.5 logs oocysts/sample for the spiked stool samples. Despite these losses, the assay detected oocysts in HCT-8 cells and fecal specimens infected/spiked with at least 3 logs oocysts/sample.
Our results confirm that real-time PCR can be used to detect and quantify Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts in a variety of samples in the research laboratory and that it will likely prove to be a useful tool in the field.
Students: Join ACP for Free
Benefits of Membership for Students: ACP's free Medical Student Membership includes benefits designed especially to meet students' needs.
Join Now: Sign-up today and begin enjoying the benefits of ACP Medical Student Membership.
Find a Residency
Search ACP's Internal Medicine Residency Database for information on all internal medicine residency programs in the U.S. and Canada. (ACP Members only)
MKSAP 16 Holiday Special: Save 10%
Use MKSAP 16® to earn MOC points, prepare for ABIM exams and assess your clinical knowledge. For a limited time save 10% when you use priority code MKPROMO! Order now.
Maintenance of Certification:
What if I Still Don't Know Where to Start?
Because the rules are complex and may apply differently depending on when you last certified, ACP has developed a MOC Navigator. This FREE tool can help you understand the impact of MOC, review requirements, guide you in selecting ways to meet the requirements, show you how to enroll, and more. Start navigating now.