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Cyclospora infection

Authors
Peter F Weller, MD, FACP
Karin Leder, MBBS, FRACP, PhD, MPH, DTMH
Section Editor
Edward T Ryan, MD, DTMH
Deputy Editor
Elinor L Baron, MD, DTMH

INTRODUCTION

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 [1].

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.)

EPIDEMIOLOGY

Humans are the only natural hosts of C. cayetanensis (figure 1). The role of animals as natural reservoirs is uncertain, and it is unclear whether zoonotic transmission occurs [4].

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 [4]. Many cases reported elsewhere have been imported by international travelers or contaminated food [5-11].

     

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Mon May 04 00:00:00 GMT+00:00 2015.
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