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N Am J Med Sci. 2016 Jul;8(7):323-5. doi: 10.4103/1947-2714.187162.

Cryptosporidium parvum Infection Following Contact with Livestock.

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Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Erie, Pennsylvania, USA.
Duke Lifepoint Memorial Medical Center, Department of Emergency Medicine, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, USA.



Scours, or calf diarrhea, is an infectious gastrointestinal disease commonly found in the calves of dairy farms. It primarily presents with diarrhea that can be life threatening to the animal and is also contagious and threatening to the other livestock. Cryptosporidium is one of the major causes of scours and can be transmitted to humans via fecal-oral route, resulting in diarrheal illnesses. Cryptosporidiosis infection usually occurs as a waterborne outbreak with the potential to affect many people at once.


We report a case of a 24-year-old female farmer who presented to the emergency department with diarrhea after taking care of ill cattle with similar symptoms. Fecal cultures were positive for Cryptosporidium parvum. Given the patient was immunocompetent, no further treatment was warranted.


Confirmed cases should be reported, however, treatment is only recommended in children and immunocompromised adults. Clinicians should educate patients on the importance of proper hygiene and handling techniques in order to decrease transmission and recurrence of the protozoan infection.


Cryptosporidium parvum; diarrhea; scour's disease

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