Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/2/2012
Publication Date: 4/26/2012
Citation: Santin, M. 2012. Epidemiological characterization of cryptosporidiosis and its implications in public health. [abstract]. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Cryptosporidium is an enteric protozoan parasite that infects a wide range of vertebrate hosts. Cryptosporidial infection is known now as one of the most common causes of diarrhea in humans and livestock. Worldwide prevalence studies indicate that domestic food animals such as cattle, sheep, and pigs have a high prevalence of Cryptosporidium infection. Cryptosporidium is a potential zoonotic pathogen and contact with animals, manure, or contaminated water and food is believed to lead to human infections. Feces containing oocysts from infected humans, livestock and other domesticated animals, and wildlife are the ultimate source of zoonotic and anthroponotic cryptosporidiosis. The epidemiology of cryptosporidiosis has received significant attention because of the public health and economic importance of this disease in humans and animals. Early studies using traditional diagnostic and epidemiological tools focused mostly on the prevalence, infection patterns, and risk factors. More recent studies have used molecular biology methods for detection and characterization of Cryptosporidium at species, genotype, and subtype levels. This technology has proven to be essential for the detection and epidemiological tracking of Cryptosporidium improving our understanding of the transmission of Cryptosporidium in human and animals.