Cryptosporidium parvum

Cryptosporidium parvum , is an intracellular parasite. The infective, the oocyst is about half the size of a red blood cell. The sporocysts are resistant to most chemical disinfectants, but are susceptible to drying and the ultraviolet portion of sunlight which s important in preventing infections.

Intestinal cryptosporidiosis is characterized by severe watery diarrhea but may, be asymptomatic. Pulmonary and tracheal cryptosporidiosis in humans is associated with coughing and frequently a low-grade fever and is accompanied by severe intestinal distress. One organism can start an infection..

Cryptosporidium sp. could occur on any food touched by a contaminated person. Known causes include child day care centres that serve food and fertilizing salad vegetables with manure. Large outbreaks happen with contaminated water supplies.



Intestinal cryptosporidiosis is self-limiting for most healthy individuals, with watery diarrhea lasting 2-4 days. In some outbreaks diarrhea have lasted 1 to 4 weeks. To date, there is no known effective drug for the treatment of cryptosporidiosis. Immunodeficient individuals, especially AIDS patients, may have the disease for life, with the severe watery diarrhea contributing to death. Invasion of the pulmonary system may also be fatal.