Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Cryptosporidiosis

Synonym(s): Infection with Cryptosporidium spp

Contributor(s): David Vella, Ron Rees Davies

Introduction

  • Cause: Historically, most genotypes were reported as Cryptosporidium parvum genotypes. Cryptosporidium cuniculus is synonymous with Cryptosporidium rabbit genotype Cryptosporidium spp
  • Signs: diarrhea.
  • Diagnosis: fecal parasitology.
  • Treatment: fluid therapy.
  • Prognosis: good.

Presenting signs

  • Diarrhea, mild to moderate and usually self-limiting.

Geographic incidence

  • Cryptosporidium species have a worldwide distribution, except for Antarctica.
  • C. cuniculus was first reported in an asymptomatic rabbit in 1979, and since then has been identified in wild rabbits as well as laboratory and commercial rabbits.
  • Based on studies in the UK and Australia, prevalence amongst wild rabbits is approximately 7%.

Age predisposition

  • Clinical disease almost exclusively in young kits. due to an immature immune system.
  • Affected rabbits are typically <3 months of age.
  • Adults can be asymptomatic carriers.
  • Adult rabbits used for production of polyclonal cryptosporidial antisera for diagnostic testing in humans.

Public health considerations

  • Potential for zoonotic infection. This was shown in 2008 in a water-borne outbreak in the UK.
  • Transient mild diarrhea in immunocompetent adults.
  • Potentially more serious diarrhea in children.
  • Immunocompromised patients may develop severe chronic watery diarrhea (producing up to 15 l of liquid stools daily).
  • In humans, biliary cryptosporidiosis, respiratory cryptosporidiosis and disseminated microsporidiosis can occur as an extension of intestinal cryptosporidiosis, and if occurs is typically seen in patients with profound immunosuppression.

Potential for zoonotic infection.

Cost considerations

  • Minimal.

Pathogenesis

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Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Lord B (2012) Gastrointestinal disease in rabbits 2. Intestinal diseases. In Pract 34 (3), 156-162 VetMedResource
  • Chalmers R M, Robinson G, Elwin K et al (2009) Cryptosporidium sp. rabbit genotype, a newly identified human pathogen. Emerg Infect Dis 15 (5), 829-830 PubMed.
  • Shiibashi T, Imai T, Sato Y et al (2006) Cryptosporidium infection in juvenile pet rabbits. J Vet Med Sci 68 (3), 281-282 PubMed.
  • Mosier D A, Cimon K Y, Kuhls T L et al (1997) Experimental cryptosporidiosis in adult and neonatal rabbits. Vet Parasitol 69 (3-4), 163-169 PubMed.
  • Dubey J P (1993) Intestinal protozoal infections. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 23 (1), 37-55 PubMed
  • Moore J A, Blagburn B L, Lindsay D S (1988) Cryptosporidiosis in animals, including humans. Comp Cont Educ Pract Vet 10 (3), 275-87 VetMedResource
  • Moon H W & Woodransee D B (1986) Cryptosporidiosis. JAVMA 189 (6), 643-6 PubMed
  • Ryan M J, Sundberg J P, Sauerschell R J (1986) Cryptosporidium in a wild cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus). J Wildlife Dis 22 (2), 267 PubMed.
  • Inman L R & Takeuchi A (1979) Spontaneous cryptosporidiosis in an adult female rabbit. Vet Pathol 16 (1), 89-95 PubMed.
  • Rehg J E, Lawton G W, Pakes S P (1979) Cryptosporidium cuniculus in the rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Lab Anim Sci 29 (5), 656-660 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Starkey S R (2013) Cryptosporidiosis. In: Clinical Veterinary Advisor Birds and Exotic Pets. Eds: Mayer J & Donnelly T M. Elsevier, USA. pp 699-703.


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