UGA researchers get grant to study parasite

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — University of Georgia researchers have received a five-year grant of more than $1 million to study a certain type of parasite.

The National Institutes of Health recently gave UGA researchers $1.8 million to study cryptosporidium (CRYPT'-oh-spor-idiom), which causes the diarrheal disease cryptosporidiosis.

The university says severe diarrhea is the second leading cause of death in children under 5 years of age. The World Health Organization says it kills about 760,000 every year.

Cryptosporidium, which is commonly called crypto, and three other pathogens are the most common cause of diarrhea, but crypto is toughest to fight.

It is difficult to study in a laboratory. Cultures of the parasite usually last just a few days, and model animals like mice aren't easily infected by the crypto that most often affects humans.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.