- Peter F Weller, MD, MACP
Peter F Weller, MD, MACP
- Editor-in-Chief — Infectious Diseases
- Section Editor — Tropical Medicine
- William Bosworth Castle Professor of Medicine
- Harvard Medical School
- Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases
- Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health
- Karin Leder, MBBS, FRACP, PhD, MPH, DTMH
Karin Leder, MBBS, FRACP, PhD, MPH, DTMH
- Section Editor — Travel Medicine
- Head of Infectious Diseases Unit
- Monash University, Australia
Cyclospora cayetanensis is a foodborne and waterborne parasitic cause of diarrheal illness in children and adults; it is an intestinal coccidian recognized as a distinct protozoan genus .
Issues related to Cyclospora infection will be reviewed here. Issues related to other coccidial organisms that can cause gastrointestinal infections in humans (Cytoisospora belli, Cryptosporidium, Sarcocystis, and Toxoplasma) are discussed separately [2,3]. (See related topics.)
Cyclospora can occur as a locally acquired infection, among travelers, or in patients with HIV/AIDS [1,4]. The initial cases were noted in the 1980s when the AIDS epidemic emerged and Cryptosporidium was identified as an important opportunistic infection; in some cases, Cyclospora oocysts observed on acid-fast stains were misidentified initially as Cryptosporidia.
Cyclospora cayetanensis has a broad geographic distribution. The organism is most frequently reported in Latin America (especially Guatemala, Peru, and Mexico), the Indian subcontinent, and Southeast Asia. Risk factors for infection in endemic areas include contaminated water, food or soil, poor sanitation, and low socioeconomic status . Many cases reported elsewhere have been imported by international travelers or contaminated food [5-11].
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