This study was undertaken to investigate the cryopreservation of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts. Oocysts purified from mouse feces were suspended in distilled water, 10% glycerin, and 2.5% potassium dichromate. They were stored at −20 C and −80 C for 2, 7, and 30 days, respectively. In addition to the purified oocysts, the feces of C. parvum-infected mice were preserved under the same conditions described above. Purified and fecal oocysts were thawed at 4 C, and their viability was assessed by a nucleic acid stain, excystation test, tissue culture infectivity test, and infectivity to immunosuppressed adult mice. Oocysts purified from fecal material prior to cryopreservation lost most of their viability and all of their infectivity for tissue culture and mice. However, when oocysts were cryopreserved in feces, between 11.7 and 34.0% were judged to be viable and retained their infectivity for mice when stored at −20 C (but not −80 C) for 2, 7, and 30 days. Clearly, fecal material provides a cryoprotective environment for C. parvum oocysts stored at −20 C for at least 30 days.

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