|Classification and external resources|
Cyclosporiasis is an infection with the protozoan Cyclospora cayetanensis, a pathogen transmitted by feces or feces-contaminated fresh produce and water. Outbreaks have been reported due to contaminated fruits and vegetables. It is not spread from person to person, but can be a hazard for travelers by being a cause of diarrhea.
Mode of infection
When an oocyst of Cyclospora cayetanensis enters the small intestine it invades the mucosa where it incubates for about one week. After incubation the person begins to experience severe watery diarrhea, bloating, fever, stomach cramps, and muscle aches.
Oocysts can be present due to using contaminated water or human feces as fertilizer. This infection primarily affects humans and primates.
Diagnosis and treatment
Diagnosis can be difficult due to the lack of recognizable oocysts in the feces. Using tests like PCR-based DNA tests and acid-fast staining can help with identification. The infection is often treated with Co-trimoxazole, because traditional anti-protozoan drugs are not sufficient. To prevent transmission through food, cook food and try to avoid drinking stream water while outdoors.
The parasite Cyclospora is highly endemic to Haiti. There is no vaccine to control Cyclospora infection or toxoplasmosis in humans at the present time, but one is available for reduction of fetal losses in sheep.
Though initially thought that Cyclospora-endemic areas were mainly confined to tropical and subtropical regions, occurrences of Cyclosporiasis are becoming more frequent in North America. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a U.S. government public health agency, there were 11 documented cases of Cyclospora infection outbreaks in the U.S. and Canada since the 1990s. Also, CDC recorded 1,110 laboratory-confirmed sporadic instances of Cyclosporiasis. As of August 2, 2013, an outbreak of the disease in the U.S. has sickened 425 people across 16 states. The source has been identified as a bagged salad mixture.
- Talaro, Kathleen P., and Arthur Talaro. Foundations in Microbiology: Basic Principles. Dubuque, Iowa: McGraw-Hill, 2002.
- http://www.idph.state.ia.us/IDPHChannelsService/file.ashx?file=2721EA4A-DB6B-4746-9FF4-0BF09C9BF3BE Iowa Cyclospora Outbreak 2013 /Outbreak Update 7.31.13, Iowa State Department of Public Health. Downloaded 6 Aug 2013.