Biliary tract infection by is a frequent complication of intestinal cryptosporidiosis in immunosuppressed patients. Although biliary tract infection can be produced in immunosuppressed models as a late complication of intestinal infection, there is no infection model in immunocompetent animals. A murine model of biliary tract cryptosporidiosis was developed by direct intra-gall bladder injection of oocysts. In adult immunocompetent mice, intracellular parasitic stages were detected in the epithelium of the common bile duct in all animals on day 7 post-inoculation (p.i.). These findings were associated with a strong inflammatory reaction. Infection was cleared between days 14 and 21 p.i. All animals developed significant levels of specific serum and bile IgG, IgA and IgM. Dexamethasone treatment resulted in the inability of animals to eradicate the parasite and the establishment of ileal parasitism. This model can be used to study the immunological mechanisms imvolved in the control of biliary cryptosporidiosis.


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