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Disease Carriers

Protozoa: Cryptosporidium parvum

Cryptosporidium parvum is a protozoan parasite associated with municipal water supplies which causes diarrhea. In patients with a normal immune system, the disease manifests itself with watery diarrhea, cramps, nausea and anorexia, lasting ten to fifteen days. In immunocompromised people, such as those receiving immunosuppressant drugs or those infected with HIV-1, symptoms are more severe. The disease is prolonged, and diarrhea can persist for months, even years.

There is no effective therapy for the disease. The Wadsworth Center is presently engaged in an ongoing search for a suitable prophylactic drug which can combat this disease.

Transmission electron micrograph of Cryptosporidium parvum located just below the plasma membrane of the intestine of the infected host
Transmission electron micrograph of Cryptosporidium parvum located just below the plasma membrane of the intestine of the infected host.
Courtesy of Dr. Rosemary Soave, Cornell University Medical College.

Learn more about cryptosporidiosis.

For further information contact Janet Keithly at keithly@wadsworth.org