Cryptosporidium enteritis is an infection of the small intestine with the parasite Cryptosporidium that causes diarrhea.
Cryptosporidium has recently been recognized as a worldwide cause of diarrhea in all age groups. Its major impact has been among those with weakened immune systems, including:
In these groups, this diarrheal infection is not just bothersome, but it also also can lead to severe and life-threatening loss of muscle and body mass (wasting) and malnutrition.
The major risk factor is swallowing water contaminated with fecal matter. Those at higher risk include:
Outbreaks have been linked to:
Kirkpatrick BD, Sears CL. Cryptosporidiosis. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 371.
© 2011 University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). All rights reserved.
UMMC is a member of the University of Maryland Medical System,
22 S. Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. TDD: 1-800-735-2258 or 1.866.408.6885