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Cryptosporidium Infection

Cryptosporidium Infection Causes

Cryptosporidium infection is caused by the ingestion of the cells of any type of cryptosporidium parasite. The majority of human infections are caused by the Cryptosporidium parvum (C. parvum) species. The disease is spread through contact with surfaces touched by an infected human or animal feces.

Cryptosporidium Infection Definition

Cryptosporidium infection is a gastrointestinal disease.

Cryptosporidium Infection Diagnosis

The disease is diagnosed through an acid-staining test that identifies cryptosporidium under a microscope. The analyzed cells are obtained from the patient's stool sample or tissue sample from the colon in severe cases. A standard stool culture be used to rule out other bacterial pathogens.

Cryptosporidium Infection Symptoms and Signs

The infected person suffers from watery diarrhea lasting up to two weeks. Other symptoms may include dehydration, malnutrition, weight loss, stomach cramps or pain, fever, nausea, malaise, or vomiting. However, people with healthy immune systems do not manifest any symptoms.

Cryptosporidium Infection Treatment

The disease has no reliable treatment because infected humans with healthy immune systems usually recover from it. However, the disease in those with unhealthy immune systems may lead to malnutrition and wasting. Treatment of the disease is focused on alleviating its symptoms and improving the person's immune response. Treatment options may be taking of anti-parasitic drugs, anti-motility agents, fluid replacement, and anti-retroviral therapies.

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