Cryptosporidium coccidi or C. parvum is a Protisit organism that causes a parasitic inflammatory gastroenteritis called Cryptosporidiosis. C. parvum is classified into the Protozoa class known as Apicomplexans. The normal habitat for this organism is in aquatic environments and also in moist soil.
The path of transmission for C. parvum is through the fecal-oral route. It can be transmitted from human to human or animal to human. This organism is transmitted usually by contaminated water sources; which include recreational water sources like swimming pools, water parks, lakes, ponds, etc. Another common source of transmission of C. parvum is through physical contact to the Cryptosporidium oocysts, a common place for this to happen is daycares. You can acquire this organism by swallowing something that came in contact with the infected stool, or by eating undercooked contaminated food. Also you can be infected with C. parvum by touching your mouth with contaminated hands. 1
Cryptosporidiosis is the disease state that is cause by the microorganism, C. parvum, which lives in the intestines of infected humans or animals. The signs and symptoms of Cryptosporidiosis are watery diarrhea, dehydration, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps, fever, and malaise. Symptoms usually last one to two weeks. In people with normal immune systems who become infected with C. parvum develop an acute form of Cryptosporidiosis; they have limited diarrhea with infectious oocytes that last one to two weeks. In immune compromised individuals infected with C. parvum develop cholera-like diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration, emaciation, and even death. The diagnosis of Cryptosporidiosis is done by collecting and examining stool samples from the patient. The technique used while identifying the Cryptosporidium coccidi in the stool samples is Acid fast staining. Treatment of Cryptosporidiosis depends on the patient’s immune system. For a person with a healthy immune system usually requires no treatment and the patient with recover own their own. It is important to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration; sometime fluid replacement therapy is needed. In immune comprised patients, like someone with AIDS, may be given antiretroviral therapy, which will help improve their immune system and decrease their symptoms. Sometimes a patient is prescribed Nitazoxanide, an antiprotozoal agent that treats diarrhea, and/or Paromomycin, a broad-spectrum antibiotic.2
C. parvum has a complex life cycle, it has includes trophozoite, sexual, asexual, oocyst stages. To start the life cycle...