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Related to cryptosporidium: Cryptosporidium parvum


(krĭp'tōspərĭd`ēəm), genus of protozoansprotozoan
, informal term for the unicellular heterotrophs of the kingdom Protista. Protozoans comprise a large, diverse assortment of microscopic or near-microscopic organisms that live as single cells or in simple colonies and that show no differentiation into tissues.
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 having at least four species; they are waterborne parasites that cause the disease cryptosporidiosis. One of the species appears to be responsible for most of the illnesses. Symptoms of the disease are vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever usually lasting one to two weeks. In immunosuppressed individuals, such as people with AIDSAIDS
or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome,
fatal disease caused by a rapidly mutating retrovirus that attacks the immune system and leaves the victim vulnerable to infections, malignancies, and neurological disorders. It was first recognized as a disease in 1981.
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, the disease can be fatal. Nitazoxanide is an effective treatment in some immunosuppressed individuals.

The usual sources of cryptosporidial contamination of drinking water are human sewage (e.g., sewage system overflows) and runoff carrying animal waste (e.g., from dairy farms). Although coagulation-sedimentation and filtration reduce the levels of cryptosporidium in water supplies, they do not eliminate it. Chlorination has no effect on the organism, which protects itself in the form of an oocyst, a tiny encapsulated egglike structure, when not in the intestine of an animal or human, but ozone disinfection has been more successful. Cryptosporidiosis affected more that 400,000 people and caused over 60 deaths in Milwaukee in 1993 when the parasites contaminated the public water system. Smaller outbreaks have occurred in other states.

See also water pollutionwater pollution,
contamination of water resources by harmful wastes; see also sewerage, water supply, pollution, and environmentalism. Industrial Pollution
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References in periodicals archive ?
cuniculus (5), and seasonal distribution and variation in humans may reflect rabbit breeding seasons and infections, although good epidemiologic studies of Cryptosporidium spp.
As in the first round of LT2 testing, the second round of LT2 monitoring continues the strong focus on monitoring Cryptosporidium to help reduce the potential health risks associated with such drinking water contaminants.
The results from the research indicate that Cryptosporidium is present in the food environment.
Only extensive work on modernising a reservoir and aqueduct will prevent a repeat of the cryptosporidium outbreak last August.
In 1993, Cryptosporidium infiltrated Milwaukee's water system, making over 400,000 people ill and killing over 100.
Between January and April 150 people in the Grampian area were hit by cryptosporidium, three times the number for the same period in 2001.
After a water sample is collected and concentrated, the Crypto-Scan immunomagnetic separation technology prepares the sample for microscopic detection of the Cryptosporidium parasite.
Cryptosporidium oocysts get into the water supply by surface water run-off, and it is estimated that the organism is present in 95% of all surface water in the USA.
Cryptosporidium causes flu-like symptoms and can kill people with weak immune systems, including the very young and the elderly.
Hach Turbidimeters, Hach Particle Counters and now the Cryptosporidium System, when used together, can aid in gaining a better understanding of filtration efficiency and water treatment practices.