Light and electron microscopic features and immunohistochemical features of Cryptosporidium andersoni (C. andersoni) and host reaction in the mucosa were studied. Although the affected cattle demonstrated no apparent clinical signs, a severe infection of C. andersoni was observed in the abomasum. C. andersoni were round in shape, measured 6-8 μm in size and were mainly observed to be freely located in the gastric pits, being attached in occasional cases to the surface of the abomasum epithelium. Frequent inflammatory cells had infiltrated the lamina propria of the affected mucosa, and frequent mitotic figures were observed in epithelial cells at the dilated isthmus. To access the cell kinetics, the number of epithelial cells infected with C. andersoni were counted and compared with noninfected cattle. The number of gastric pit cells in infected cattle was significantly higher than that in the controls. The number of proliferative cells determined by the Ki-67 antigen in C. andersoni infected cattle was also significantly higher than that in the controls. Transmission electron microscopy and scanning electron microscopy revealed that the morphology of the C. andersoni organism was common to those of other Cryptosporidium spp. Immunohistochemically, several commercial antibodies against Cryptosporidium spp. showed positive reactions at the wall of these oocysts or parasitophorous vacuoles. This report is possibly the first to discuss the prominent hyperplasia of the abomasum mucosa, as well as morphologic features of C. andersoni in cattle.
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