Occupational Safety


Cryptosporidium (PDF) are common protozoans that cause enteritis and diarrhea Cryptosporidium spp. are found in many species, including mammals, birds, reptiles, and fishes. Cross-infectivity studies have shown a lack of host specificity. Among laboratory animals, lambs, calves, pigs, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, dogs, cats, and nonhuman primates can be infected with the organism. Cryptosporidiosis is common in young animals, particularly ruminants and piglets.

Cryptosporidiosis is transmitted by the fecal-oral route and often via contaminated water. Zoonotic transmission of the disease to animal handlers has been recorded. In humans, the disease is characterized by cramping, abdominal pain, profuse watery diarrhea, anorexia, weight loss, and malaise. Symptoms can wax and wane for up to 30 days, with eventual resolution. In immunocompromised individuals, the disease can have a prolonged and worsening course.

Appropriate personal hygiene practices should be effective in preventing the spread of infection. No pharmacological treatment is effective for this infection. Hand washing is the first line of defense.