NCSU is seeking an industry partner to commercialize a novel technology for immunization against cryptosporidiosis in livestock. US patents Nos. 6,323,020 and 6,759,048 have been granted for this technology.
Cryptosporidiosis is a parasitic disease caused by the protozoal agent Cryptosporidium parvum, which affects the intestines of mammals and is spread through the fecal-oral route, often through contaminated water. Infection by Cryptosporidium is a major problem in the agricultural industry, affecting cattle and other livestock. In addition to the direct economic costs due to loss of cattle, infected animals may also contaminate water supplies, causing the spread of the disease to humans. At this time, there are no known drugs available to successfully prevent or cure an infection.
A multi-university team of researchers has identified a novel protein of Cryptosporidium parvum as a promising target for vaccine development. The protein and derivative synthetic peptides contain at least two distinct epitopes defined by monoclonal antibodies that neutralize the infectivity of C. parvum. The targeted amino acid epitopes are conserved among geographical isolates of C. parvum which suggests that they are not subject to antigenic variations, making this technology a promising candidate for vaccine development.
Links to Granted US Patents:
- US Patent 6,323,020: Neutralization-Sensitive Epitopes of Cryptosporidium parvum
- US Patent 6,759,048: Neutralization-Sensitive Epitopes of Cryptosporidium parvum
About the Inventors
- Dr. Lance E. Perryman is currently Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University.
- Dr. Douglas P. Jasmer is currently a Professor in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology & Pathology at Washington State University. His laboratory research centers around the investigation of the molecular and cellular effects of host/parasite interactions and parasite biology.
- Dr. Michael W. Riggs is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Veterinary Science and Microbiology at the University of Arizona. His research interests center on the immunobiology and molecular pathogenesis of parasitic protozoal diseases of zoonotic importance. Current research is focused on development of recombinant and synthetic vaccines for cryptosporidiosis; immunotherapy of cryptosporidiosis; definition of the molecular pathogenesis of host cell recognition, attachment, and invasion by C. parvum; structural characterization of C. parvum glycoprotein ligands; animal model development; and improved methods for diagnosis and detection.
- Dr. Travis C. McGuire is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology & Pathology at Washington State University.