Cryptosporidium are protozoan parasites with significant impact to the health of humans and livestock. Of the approximately thirty described species in the genus (details in “Tree of Life Project ”), Cryptosporidium parvum and Cryptosporidium hominis cause most human infections. Cryptosporidium species infect the gastrointestinal tract, causing a diarrheal disease known as cryptosporidiosis (access disease information here). A recent study found Cryptosporidium to be one of the four primary causative agents of moderate-to-severe diarrhea in developing countries [1], and diarrheal diseases are responsible for an estimated 10.5% of global child mortality [2].

Cryptosporidium hominis Gene Catalog

Biological and technical challenges have precluded the use of traditional vaccinology approaches for the identification of vaccine targets against human-infecting Cryptosporidium, and the existence of genomic resources for multiple species in the genus makes reverse vaccinology a viable alternative. Many Cryptosporidium genomic resources can be accessed at CryptoDB.

The genome of the C. hominis isolate TU502_new was recently sequenced, assembled and annotated at the Institute for Genome Sciences (IGS), as the result of a collaboration between Joana Carneiro da Silva, PhD, at IGS, Jessica Kissinger, PhD, at the University of Georgia, and Giovanni Widmer, PhD, at Tufts University. These data are available in CryptoDB. The new gene set for C. hominis TU502_new represents an extensive update of the original C. hominis gene structure annotation.

The C. hominis Gene Catalog (ChGC) is a searchable database displaying all C. hominis TU502_new predicted genes and several of their attributes that are key to identifying candidate vaccine targets. These characteristics include physical attributes, properties related to antigenic potential, expression data, and homology to genes in other Cryptosporidium species and in the human genome. The Center of Excellence for Translational Research (CETR) at UMB is working towards the development of products to prevent enteric disease caused by C. hominis, among other pathogens. CETR at UMB has supported the development of this gene catalog.

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This database is maintained by Kemi Ifeonu.

[1] Kotloff, et al. 2013 [PubMed] [2] Liu, et al. 2012 [PubMed]


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