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Related to Cryptosporidia: 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 ?
Finally, 2 lovebirds were confirmed to have Cryptosporidia by PCR analysis, and direct sequencing confirmed Cryptosporidium avian genotype III.
Drew McGurren, a veterinary adviser to report authors Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, said: "Ever since we started testing calf faecal samples in the 1990s, rotavirus and cryptosporidia have always been identified as the two main pathogens implicated in infectious scour problems.
In humans, Cryptosporidia parasites cause cryptosporidiosis, an acute diarrheal illness for which there is no effective medical treatment.
Studies have shown the reduction in eggs per gram feces in Cryptosporidia calves by using metronidazole and paromomycine with different dose rates (Masood et al.
Further studies are needed to determine the potential of other cryptosporidia of animal origin.