Cryptosporidium enteritis is an infection of the small intestine with the parasite Cryptosporidium that causes diarrhea.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Cryptosporidium has recently been recognized as a worldwide cause of
- People who take medications to suppress their immune system
- People with HIV or
- Transplant recipients
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:
- Animal handlers
- Men who have sex with men
- People in close contact with infected individuals
- Young children
Outbreaks have been linked to:
- Drinking from contaminated public water supplies
- Drinking unpasteurized cider
- Swimming in contaminated pools and lakes