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Cryptosporidiosis

more about Cryptosporidiosis


  • This disease is caused by the spore-forming protozoan, Cryptosporidium parvum (in lay terms, it is an intestinal parasite). It is a very contagious infection and has an incubation period of 5-21 days. Patients with AIDS may get a severe infection that can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract.

  • Normal immune system -- mild to severe Diarrhea, abdominal Bloating, abdominal cramps, flatulence (gas), low-grade fever, lack of energy, vomiting and muscle aches. Symptoms usually resolve in 2 days to many weeks. Weight loss may occur. (Note: many patients will have infections without any symptoms at all, which means it does not affect them, but they can spread it to others).
  • Immune compromised (e.g., AIDS) -- may have severe watery Diarrhea and severe weight loss along with the abdominal Bloating, cramps and flatulence. Symptoms of pancreatitis (epigastric pain), gall bladder disease (right upper abdomen pain, yellow skin or eyes), and an enlarged liver or spleen may occur. The respiratory tract may also be affected.

  • Acid-fast staining
  • Fluorescent microscopy with auramine staining or monoclonal antibody use
  • ELISA testing in stool
  • AIDS patients -- sputum and/or bronchoalvelar lavage (a lung test) should be performed in a person with Diarrhea and unclear diagnosis
  • Basic blood work should be checked for as needed for electrolyte abnormalities, liver involvement, or pancreatitis (amylase, Lipase)
  • Malabsorption may develop and B12 deficiency, carbohydrate and/or fat malabsorption may occur (appropriate testing can be done if suspected)

  • Travel (it is a cause of traveler's Diarrhea)
  • Hospitals/Health care facilities
  • Day care centers
  • AIDS

  • Fluid and electrolyte replacements as needed
  • No medical treatment regimen is totally successful. Roxithromycin, Spiramycin, Paromomycin, AZT (zidovudirine), and Azithromycin (plus others) have had isolated success.

  • Water filtration systems (chlorination of water does not work)
  • For travelers -- boil drinking water for 1 minute or use a filter that removes particles over 1 micrometer.
  • Avoid swimming in fresh water.




more about Cryptosporidiosis


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