Revision as of 19:37, 27 March 2015 by Dx316gol (talk | contribs) (Management)


Cryptosporidium is an protozoa that can cause diarrhea. Cryptosporidium is mostly commonly seen in HIV positive patients and is the most common cause of chronic diarrhea in HIV patients. Cryptosporidium oocysts are 4-6 µm in diameter and exhibit partial acid-fast staining.

Environmental exposures include: People who swim regularly in pools with insufficient sanitation, hikers who drink untreated water, people who handle infected cattle.

Clinical Presentation

Symptoms usually appear one week after infection which include:

  • watery diarrhea
  • dehydration
  • stomach cramps/pain
  • weight loss
  • fever
  • nausea/vomiting

Differential Diagnosis

Acute diarrhea



Watery Diarrhea

  • Enterotoxigenic E. coli (most common cause of watery diarrhea)[1]
  • Norovirus (often has prominent vomiting)
  • Campylobacter
  • Non-typhoidal Salmonella
  • Enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC)
  • Enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis

Traveler's Diarrhea


  • Stool acid-staining test
  • Stool Culture


  • If patient non-sick appearing and not immunocompromised, medication often not needed
  • Antiparasitics such as nitazoxanide for immunocompromised patients


See Also

External Links


  1. Marx et al. “Cholera and Gastroenteritis caused by Noncholera Vibrio Species”. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine 8th edition vol 1 pg 1245-1246.