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Trends Parasitol. 2013 May;29(5):237-51. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2013 Apr 6.

Looking for Cryptosporidium: the application of advances in detection and diagnosis.

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Cryptosporidium Reference Unit, Public Health Wales Microbiology, Singleton Hospital, Swansea, UK.


The protozoan Cryptosporidium is a major public and animal health concern. Young children, immunocompromised people, and pre-weaning animals are especially vulnerable, but treatment options are limited and there is no vaccine. A laboratory diagnosis is required to confirm cases of cryptosporidiosis, and species and genotype determination is essential in distinguishing human from non-human sources, understanding transmission, and strengthening the epidemiological evidence for causative links in outbreaks. However, testing is not consistent, as demonstrated by investigation of a significant increase in cases in some European countries during 2012. Many methods employed are laborious and time-consuming; recent advances, translated into diagnostic assays, can improve testing and facilitate typing to support clinical and environmental investigations.

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