Effect of oregano essential oil and carvacrol on Cryptosporidium parvum infectivity in HCT-8 cells

Shashank Gaur, Theresa B. Kuhlenschmidt, Mark S. Kuhlenschmidt, Juan E. Andrade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cryptosporidium parvum is the second leading cause of persistent diarrhea among children in low-resource settings. This study examined the effect of oregano essential oil (OEO) and carvacrol (CV) on inhibition of C. parvum infectivity in vitro. HCT-8 cells were seeded (1 × 106) in 96-well microtiter plates until confluency. Cell viability and infectivity were assessed by seeding HCT-8 cell monolayers with C. parvum oocysts (1 × 104) in two modalities: 1) 4 h co-culture with bioactive (0–250 μg/mL) followed by washing and incubation (48 h, 37 °C, 5% CO2) in bioactive-free media; and 2) 4 h co-culture of C. parvum oocysts followed by washing and treatment with bioactive (0–250 μg/mL) during 48-h incubation. Cell viability was tested using Live/Dead™ assay whereas infectivity was measured using C. parvum-specific antibody staining via immunofluorescence detection. Loss of cell viability was observed starting at 125 μg/mL and 60 μg/mL for OEO and CV, respectively. Neither OEO nor CV modulated the invasion of C. parvum sporozoites in HCT-8 cells. Treatment with bioactive after invasion reduced relative C. parvum infectivity in a dose-dependent manner to 55.6 ± 10.4% and 45.8 ± 4.1% at 60 and 30 μg/mL of OEO and CV, respectively. OEO and CV are potential bioactives to counteract C. parvum infection in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-175
Number of pages6
JournalParasitology International
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Carvacrol
  • Cryptosporidium
  • HCT-8
  • In vitro
  • Oregano
  • Parasite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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