Cryptosporidiosis In Humans (oocysts): Symptoms And Treatment

Table of contents:

Cryptosporidiosis In Humans (oocysts): Symptoms And Treatment
Cryptosporidiosis In Humans (oocysts): Symptoms And Treatment

Video: Cryptosporidiosis In Humans (oocysts): Symptoms And Treatment

Отличия серверных жестких дисков от десктопных
Video: Cryptosporidiosis 2023, February

Cryptosporidium oocysts are protozoal infections. The course of the disease is associated with a disorder of the digestive system. It is an intestinal infection that occurs much more often than other similar diseases. It can affect not only humans, but other mammals as well. It is often diagnosed in domestic animals - dogs.


  • 1 Types of disease
  • 2 Ways of infection
  • 3 Symptoms

    • 3.1 Symptoms of the intestinal form
    • 3.2 Symptoms of the bronchopulmonary form
    • 3.3 Symptoms in HIV-infected people
  • 4 The life cycle of helminths
  • 5 Diagnostics
  • 6 Treatment of the disease in adults and children

    6.1 Preparations

  • 7 Preventive measures
  • 8 Forecast

Types of disease

It is customary to distinguish three forms of cryptosporidiosis, the name of which indicates the place of localization in the host's body:

  • bronchopulmonary;
  • intestinal;
  • mixed.

Infection routes

The onset of the disease is provoked by a parasite, which belongs to the cryptosporidium family. Helminth of microscopic size parasitizes in the bronchi, lungs and intestines. It affects the mucous membranes. As a result of vital activity, it can provoke the appearance of inflammatory processes in various organs.

The pathogen can enter the host's body in different ways. After leaving the feces, the larvae enter the body of the new host. This is the so-called fecal-oral route of entry. Infection also occurs through the contact-household route. This is the very case when people neglect personal hygiene.


Microscopic larvae can enter the body through the food and respiratory tract. The spores that are released by an infected person are released into the environment along with waste products. The external environment does not destroy the shells of the parasites, therefore, they can be pathogenic for a long time. After entering the human body, they take the form of sporozoite and go through a whole life cycle.


The stage of development of the pathological process is the result of symptoms and their intensity in the patient. By their severity, you can determine the state of immunity, and how the disease proceeds. People who have good protective functions of the body mainly suffer only from the intestinal form of cryptosporidiosis. A parasitic disease disrupts the normal functioning of the digestive system.

People who have a weakened immune system have a bronchopulmonary form. Patients suffering from immunodeficiency are more likely to such infection. After penetrating the bronchi and lungs, the parasites gradually infect other vital organs.

Intestinal symptoms

Symptoms that suggest intestinal cryptosporidiosis:

  1. Disruption of the digestive tract. This is mainly manifested by diarrhea. A person suffers from frequent urge to defecate. In this case, the feces are watery.
  2. Severe nausea begins with vomiting.
  3. Cramping painful sensations occur in the abdomen.
  4. Over time, the body temperature rises or, conversely, decreases.
  5. As a result of dehydration, the skin becomes very dry and tight.
  6. The man is tormented by thirst.

Despite the large amount of fluid consumed, the skin still remains tight.

Symptoms of the bronchopulmonary form

If parasites infect the respiratory tract, the symptoms of bronchopulmonary cryptosporidiosis in humans are manifested in the following:

  1. Respiratory failure develops due to a violation of the process of gas exchange of the lungs. This is observed in the presence of an infectious disease.
  2. Cough. A person secretes sputum from the bronchi.
  3. A person has an increase in temperature, which does not decrease for a very long period of time. This phenomenon is also called fever.
  4. Dyspnea.
  5. The lymph nodes increase significantly in size, which leads to lymphadenitis.
  6. The patient feels a general malaise.

In addition to these symptoms, patients also complain of frequent headaches. Feelings of nausea may occur.

Symptoms in HIV-infected people

Microorganisms cause such manifestations:

  1. Hoarse voice.
  2. Cough. It can be different: dry, lingering with purulent discharge.
  3. Difficulty breathing.
  4. Dyspnea.
  5. Cyanosis of the skin.

If the infection spreads to other organs, other symptoms become noticeable. They depend on the location in the abdominal cavity. If parasites infect the pancreas, then symptoms characteristic of this disease are observed. Cryptosporidiums also provoke hepatitis and cholecystitis.

Life cycle of helminths

The life cycle of the parasite begins only after the parasite enters the body of a person or animal. Moreover, he has no intermediate owners, only one. Infection occurs through ingestion or inhalation of oocysts.

Pancreatic enzymes contain components that erode the membranes of the oocysts, freeing them.


Further, the parasite tries to gain a foothold on the wall of the mucous membrane in order to move to the next stage of existence - vegetative. After that, the parasite turns into an adult and prepares for reproduction. Over time, merozoites appear - mobile microorganisms that are waiting for their host to continue their own life cycle.


According to experts, people who have good immune systems do not need treatment. They assure that in a couple of weeks the parasites will leave their body. In such cases, it is recommended to engage in prevention methods, bypassing the main treatment.

Carriers of HIV infection require compulsory treatment. But, before proceeding with the destruction of parasites, it is necessary to undergo a diagnosis. For cryptosporidia, which live in the intestines, the following laboratory diagnostics are required:

  • stool analysis;
  • enzyme immunoassay;
  • a blood test for HIV infection.

Treatment of the disease in adults and children

If cryptosporidium oocysts have been found in a person with a strong immune system, then there is no need to take specialized drugs. In such cases, the disease is characterized by mild or moderate severity. The only condition that must be observed in this case is good nutrition and maintenance of water balance.

The child's body cannot fight helminths on its own, therefore it needs urgent treatment. The following scheme has been developed for them:

  • maintaining normal water balance;
  • food according to diet number 4;
  • taking enzymes and bifidobacteria to restore the functioning of the digestive system;
  • treatment with antidiarrheal drugs.

Carriers of HIV infection require bacterial treatment and the introduction of water-salt solutions.


Treatment for protozoal infection usually includes the following drugs:

  • enzymes;
  • medicines to eliminate diarrhea;
  • antiviral drugs;
  • means for maintaining normal water balance;
  • lactobacilli;
  • for HIV patients, antibiotics from the macrolide group.

Preventive measures

The best treatment for a disease is prevention, measures that are aimed at avoiding infection. Prevention rules are practically the same for various diseases, however, non-compliance with them can lead to long-term treatment of protozoal infection.

First of all, a person should take care of personal hygiene. In the morning and in the evening, take water procedures using an antibacterial agent. After working in gardens, hands should be carefully treated, especially if there was contact with the soil. The earth can be contaminated, with Cryptosporidium in the feces. Caring for sick animals should also include protective measures.

Products that are intended for human consumption must be thoroughly washed and then thermally processed. This primarily applies to vegetables, fruits and plants. It is not recommended to drink water from a source of unknown origin, especially if it is dirty.

In addition, you should refuse to swim in suspicious bodies of water.


Most people who have dealt with protozoal infection, after a while, completely get rid of the unpleasant disease. Microorganisms die, recovery occurs. Cryptosporidiosis is most dangerous for children under 2 years of age. The risk group includes patients suffering from immunodeficiency. Their treatment should take place under the strict supervision of a physician and subsequent routine checks.

Popular by topic