Water

Cryptosporidiosis – Symptoms and Pathogenesis

This is a diarrheal disease which occurs due to infection by protozoan parasites from the Cryptosporidium genus. The parasite as well as the waterborne disease are commonly called as “Crypto”. Several species of Cryptosporidium are known to infect the mammals intestine including humans apart form affecting many animal species. This protozoan parasite is protected by a hard outer coat known as cysts. This hard coat allows the parasite to survive outside the host for a long period. Also, the cysts provide resistance to chlorine disinfectant. Read on to know more about the

symptoms and pathogenesis of Cryptosporidiosis

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The protozaon parasite can be easily spread by several means. Although, water is the most common mode of transmission. In the U.S., most common cause of waterborne ailment (recreational water and drinking water) is Cryptosporidium.

Symptoms of Cryptosporidiosis

After the infection, the symptoms start to appear from 2-10 days. The average duration is 7 days and these symptoms usually last for a fortnight. In a few rare cases, the symptoms may last for a month. The waterborne disease may cause acute diarrhea or can be asymptomatic. The diarrhea consists of mucus and in rare cases, can be accompanied with traces of blood. The symptoms of cryptosporidiosis include:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Stomach pain or cramps
  • Weight loss
  • Dehydration
  • Even severe ailments like pancreatitis can occur in patients suffering form cryptosporidiosis.

Pathogenesis

The hard coats also known as oocysts are spherical or ovoid in shape. They measure up to 5-6 micrometers. These cysts consist of at least four sporozoites. Even 2-10 oocysts my cause an infection. The protozoan parasite is present in small intestine’s epithelial cells. Mainly, they are present in the jejunum. The epithelial cells membrane envelops the parasites. Hence, the parasites lead to damage and destruction of the microvilli. This is the pathogenesis of cryptosporidiosis in humans.

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