There is no vaccine to protect from cryptosporidiosis, a leading cause of diarrhea in infants in low- and middle-income countries. Here, we comprehensively identified parasite antigens associated with protection from reinfection. A Cryptosporidium protein microarray was constructed by in vitro transcription and translation of 1,761 C. parvum, C. hominis, or C. meleagridis antigens, including proteins with a signal peptide and/or a transmembrane domain. Plasma IgG and/or IgA from Bangladeshi children longitudinally followed for cryptosporidiosis from birth to 3 years of age allowed for identification of 233 seroreactive proteins. Seven of these were associated with protection from reinfection. These included Cp23, Cp17, Gp900, and 4 additional antigens — CpSMP1, CpMuc8, CpCorA and CpCCDC1. Infection in the first year of life, however, often resulted in no detectable antigen-specific antibody response, and antibody responses, when detected, were specific to the infecting parasite genotype and decayed in the months after infection. In conclusion, humoral immune responses against specific parasite antigens were associated with acquired immunity. While antibody decay over time and parasite genotype-specificity may limit natural immunity, this work serves as a foundation for antigen selection for vaccine design.


Carol A. Gilchrist, Joseph J. Campo, Jozelyn V. Pablo, Jennie Z. Ma, Andy Teng, Amit Oberai, Adam D. Shandling, Masud Alam, Mamun Kabir, A.S.G. Faruque, Rashidul Haque, William A. Petri Jr.


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