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Cyclospora cayetanensis.jpg
Cyclospora cayetanensis
Classification and external resources
Specialty Infectious disease
ICD-10 A07.8
ICD-9-CM 007.5
DiseasesDB 32228
eMedicine ped/527
Patient UK Cyclosporiasis
MeSH D021866

Cyclosporiasis is an infection with the protozoan Cyclospora cayetanensis, a pathogen transmitted by feces or feces-contaminated fresh produce and water.[1] 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[edit]

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[edit]

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 Trimethaprine-Sulfamethaxozol [Bactrim, 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.

Vaccine research[edit]

There is no vaccine to control Cyclospora infection in humans at the present time, but one is available for reduction of fetal losses in sheep.


Alhough it was initially thought that Cyclospora was 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.[2] As of August 2, 2013, an outbreak of the disease in the U.S. has sickened 425 people across 16 states.[3][4] The source has been identified as a bagged salad mixture.[5]

On July 30, 2015 (11am EDT), the CDC had been notified of 358 ill persons with confirmed Cyclospora infection from 26 states in 2015.[6]


  1. ^ Talaro, Kathleen P., and Arthur Talaro. Foundations in Microbiology: Basic Principles. Dubuque, Iowa: McGraw-Hill, 2002.
  2. ^ "Surveillance for Laboratory-Confirmed Sporadic Cases of Cyclosporiasis --- United States, 1997--2008". 
  3. ^ "Case Count Maps - Outbreak Investigations 2013 - Cyclosporiasis - CDC". 
  4. ^ "CDC: 425 cases of cyclospora infection identified across 16 states". 5 August 2013. 
  5. ^ Iowa Cyclospora Outbreak 2013 /Outbreak Update 7.31.13, Iowa State Department of Public Health. Downloaded 6 Aug 2013.
  6. ^

External links[edit]