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Trop Parasitol. 2012 Jul;2(2):91-8. doi: 10.4103/2229-5070.105173.

Cryptosporidiosis: An under-recognized public health problem.

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Department of Gastrointestinal Sciences, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India.


Cryptosporidium spp. is under recognized as an important pathogen causing diarrhea in children and HIV-infected individuals with associated high morbidity and mortality. In endemic areas, most symptomatic infections are in childhood and in immunocompromised adults. The immune status of the host plays a critical role in determining the severity of cryptosporidiosis. Infection is self-limited in immunocompetent hosts, but can be severe and persistent in the immunocompromised such as AIDS patients or malnourished children. Cryptosporidiosis in developing countries is a major cause of acute and persistent diarrhea in children and is associated with subsequent impairment in growth, physical fitness, and cognitive function. Despite recognition of the importance of immune status, the correlates of protective immunity in cryptosporidiosis in humans are poorly understood, and treatment modalities are limited.


Children; Cryptosporidium; diarrhea; immunocompromised

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