A novel, stain-free, natural auto-fluorescent signal, Sig M, identified from cytometric and transcriptomic analysis of infectivity of Cryptosporidium hominis and Cryptosporidium parvum.pdf (2.52 MB)

A novel, stain-free, natural auto-fluorescent signal, Sig M, identified from cytometric and transcriptomic analysis of infectivity of Cryptosporidium hominis and Cryptosporidium parvum

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posted on 2023-06-15, 01:44 authored by Paul Ogbuigwe, Joanna Roberts, Matthew Knox, Axel HeiserAxel Heiser, Anthony Pita, Neville HaackNeville Haack, Juan Carlos Garcia-Ramirez, Niluka Velathanthiri, Patrick Biggs, Nigel French, David Hayman

Cryptosporidiosis is a worldwide diarrheal disease caused by the protozoan Cryptosporidium. The primary symptom is diarrhea, but patients may exhibit different symptoms based on the species of the Cryptosporidium parasite they are infected with. Furthermore, some genotypes within species are more transmissible and apparently virulent than others. The mechanisms underpinning these differences are not understood, and an effective in vitro system for Cryptosporidium culture would help advance our understanding of these differences. Using COLO-680N cells, we employed flow cytometry and microscopy along with the C. parvum-specific antibody Sporo-Glo™ to characterize infected cells 48 h following an infection with C. parvum or C. hominis. The Cryptosporidium parvum-infected cells showed higher levels of signal using Sporo-Glo™ than C. hominis-infected cells, which was likely because Sporo-Glo™ was generated against C. parvum. We found a subset of cells from infected cultures that expressed a novel, dose-dependent auto-fluorescent signal that was detectable across a range of wavelengths. The population of cells that expressed this signal increased proportionately to the multiplicity of infection. The spectral cytometry results confirmed that the signature of this subset of host cells closely matched that of oocysts present in the infectious ecosystem, pointing to a parasitic origin. Present in both C. parvum and C. hominis cultures, we named this Sig M, and due to its distinct profile in cells from both infections, it could be a better marker for assessing Cryptosporidium infection in COLO-680N cells than Sporo-Glo™. We also noted Sig M’s impact on Sporo-Glo™ detection as Sporo-Glo™ uses fluoroscein–isothiocynate, which is detected where Sig M also fluoresces. Lastly, we used NanoString nCounter® analysis to investigate the transcriptomic landscape for the two Cryptosporidium species, assessing the gene expression of 144 host and parasite genes. Despite the host gene expression being at high levels, the levels of putative intracellular Cryptosporidium gene expression were low, with no significant difference from controls, which could be, in part, explained by the abundance of uninfected cells present as determined by both Sporo-Glo™ and Sig M analyses. This study shows for the first time that a natural auto-fluorescent signal, Sig M, linked to Cryptosporidium infection can be detected in infected host cells without any fluorescent labeling strategies and that the COLO-680N cell line and spectral cytometry could be useful tools to advance the understanding of Cryptosporidium infectivity.



Massey University

Royal Society Te Aparangi Grant RDF-MAU170

New Zealand Ministry of Health Contract Number 355766-02

The Percival Carmine Chair in Epidemiology and Public Health


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© 2023 Ogbuigwe, Roberts, Knox, Heiser, Pita, Haack, Garcia-Ramirez, Velathanthiri, Biggs, French and Hayman. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology



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