Cryptosporidium parvum/hominis is a group of protozoan parasites belonging to the genus Cryptosporidium, which can cause gastrointestinal disease in humans and a wide range of animals. There are multiple species of Cryptosporidium that can infect humans, but the most prevalent ones associated with human disease are Cryptosporidium parvum and Cryptosporidium hominis (formerly known as C. parvum anthroponotic genotype or genotype 1) . Other zoonotic species that can also infect humans include Cryptosporidium meleagridis, Cryptosporidium cuniculus, Cryptosporidium ubiquitum, Cryptosporidium canis, Cryptosporidium felis, Cryptosporidium viatorum, and Cryptosporidium sp. chipmunk genotype I .
In healthy individuals, infection may be asymptomatic or cause mild self-limiting diarrhea that resolves over a few weeks. However, immunocompromised individuals, such as those with impaired immune systems, may develop severe and life-threatening watery diarrhea that is difficult to treat with currently available drugs .
Cryptosporidiosis outbreaks have been reported in various settings, including waterparks, community swimming pools, day care centers, hospitals, households, and municipalities with contaminated public water supplies . The parasite's ability to survive disinfection procedures, such as chlorination, makes water distribution systems particularly vulnerable to contamination with Cryptosporidium .
It is essential to ensure proper water and food safety measures to prevent the transmission of Cryptosporidium and reduce the risk of outbreaks. For patients with compromised immune systems or severe symptoms, medical attention and appropriate treatment are necessary to manage the infection effectively .
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