Centrifugation was evaluated as a method to improve infectivity assays of Cryptosporidium parvum in cell culture using the focus detection method, an immunofluorescence-based method for detecting infectious C. parvum oocysts in vitro. Human ileocecal adenocarcinoma (HCT-8) cells were grown for 48 hr on 13-mm cover slips in 24-well microtiter plates and infected with bleach-treated C. parvum oocysts. Plates were centrifuged at 228 g for 10 min and incubated at 37 C for 5, 12, 18, 24, and 48 hr. Foci of infection were stained by immunofluorescence and enumerated using epifluorescent microscopy. Results were compared to noncentrifuged controls. Foci in centrifuged samples could be enumerated after 18 hr. According to most probable number (MPN) analysis, the number of infectious oocysts estimated at 48 hr (13,326 infectious oocysts) was reached by 18 hr in centrifuged samples. After 48 hr, there was no significant difference (P < 0.05) between centrifuged and noncentrifuged samples enumerated by number of foci or the MPN of infectious oocysts. Centrifugation may expedite detection during C. parvum infectivity assays. Furthermore, multiwell plate formats are more cost effective than traditional chamber slides.
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