Cryptosporidiosis has been proposed to be one of the major causes of diarrhoeal disease in humans worldwide that possesses zoonotic concern. Thereby, this study investigated the potential effects of s-Methylcysteine (SMC) on the parasite in vivo followed by the measurement of cytokines, oxidative stress parameters, and an investigation of the major histopathological changes. Sixty male Swiss albino mice weighing 20–25 g were allocated equally into five groups and orally administered saline only (control), SMC only (SMC50) (50 mg/kg b.w.), and 104Cryptosporidium parvum
oocysts per mouse via an esophageal tube (C + ve untreated). The fourth and fifth groups (C + SMC25, C + SMC50) administrated 104C. parvum
oocysts combined with SMC25 (low dose) and 50 (high dose) mg/kg b.w., respectively. At days 7 and 14 post-infection (PI), the feces was collected from each group in order to count C. parvum
oocysts. After two weeks of treatment, the animals were euthanized and the serum was collected for biochemical analysis. Next, the intestinal, spleen, and liver sections were dissected for histopathological examination. The results revealed lower oocyst numbers in the C + SMC25 and C + SMC50 groups compared to the infected untreated group. Moreover, higher doses of SMC treatment significantly reduced the enteritis induced by C. parvum
in a dose-dependent manner. The hepatic lesions were also mitigated as demonstrated in C + SMC25 and C + SMC50 groups unlike the infected group via lowering the serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) enzymes and increasing albumin and globulin serum levels. SMC administration also reduced cytokines production (SAP, TNF-α, IL-6, and IFN-γ) mediated by Cryptosporidium
infection in contrast to the infected untreated group. There were marked lymphoid depletion and amyloidosis observed in the infected untreated group, while the treated groups showed obvious increase in the lymphoid elements. Moreover, the scoring of intestinal parasites, hepatic, and splenic lesions in the SMC-treated groups exhibited significantly lower pathological lesions in different organs in a dose-dependent manner, compared to the infected untreated group. Our results also revealed a significant change in the malondialdehyde content with an elevation of glutathione and superoxide dismutase in the intestines collected from C + SMC25 and C + SMC50 mice relative to the untreated group. Taken together, our results indicated that SMC could be a promising effective compound for treating and declining C. parvum
infestation via restoring structural alterations in different tissues, enhancing antioxidant enzymes, and suppressing the cytokines liberation.