Health Care Provider Information on Cryptosporidiosis

on this page:
Required Disease Reporting
Parasite Information
Clinical Features
Laboratory Diagnosis
Treatment

Required Disease Reporting

Parasite Information

Clinical Features

  • Infection with Cryptosporidium sp. results in a wide range of manifestations, from asymptomatic infections to severe, life-threatening illness.
  • Watery diarrhea is the most frequent symptom, and can be accompanied by abdominal cramps, fatigue, fever, vomiting, anorexia, and weight loss.
  • In immunocompetent persons, symptoms are usually short lived (1 to 2 weeks); they can be chronic and more severe in immunocompromised patients, especially those with CD4 counts <200/µl.
  • While the small intestine is the site most commonly affected, symptomatic Cryptosporidium infections have also been found in other organs including other digestive tract organs, the lungs, and possibly conjunctiva.
  • Cryptosporidiosis Clinical Features
    CDC.Attention: Non-MDH link

Laboratory Diagnosis

  • Low positive predictive values have been observed when using rapid assays for the diagnosis of cryptosporidiosis. Even though rapid assays can be used as a screening test in higher prevalence populations, positives should be confirmed with traditional microscopy.

  • Submission of clinical materials from positive Cryptosporidium specimens to the Minnesota Department of Health Laboratory (MDH-PHL) is required in accordance with state communicable disease rules. Additional testing of these submitted materials is performed at the MDH-PHL with the results being used to aid public health surveillance.

  • Cryptosporidiosis Laboratory Diagnosis
    CDC; testing, safety, specimen processing, diagnostic findings.
    Attention: Non-MDH link

Treatment

  • Most people who have healthy immune systems will recover without treatment.
  • Diarrhea can be managed by drinking plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Nitazoxanide has been licensed by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of for all patients 1 year of age and older with diarrhea associated with cryptosporidiosis.
  • Immunocompromised persons and those in poor health are at highest risk for severe illness.
  • In HIV infected patients, anti-retroviral therapy, which improves immune status, will also reduce oocyst excretion and decrease diarrhea associated with cryptosporidiosis.
  • Cryptosproidiosis Treatment
    CDC.Attention: Non-MDH link


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Updated Wednesday, 19-Jun-2013 14:05:20 CDT