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Cryptosporidiosis is an illness you get from the parasite Cryptosporidium. It causes watery diarrhea and other gastrointestinal (gut) symptoms. In addition to infection of the stomach, this parasite can infect the respiratory system causing a cough and/or problems breathing.

The family Cryptosporididae belongs to the phylum Apicomplexa characterized by an anterior (or apical) polar complex (with apical rings, micronemes, and subpellicular microtubules), which allows penetration into host cells. Cryptosporidium species are able to infect a broad range of hosts including humans, domestic and wild animals (mammals, birds, fish, marsupials, reptiles and amphibians) worldwide.

Transmission and Life Cycle

Humans and animals become infected with Cryptosporidium by touching anything that has come in contact with contaminated feces, although the most common mode of transmission is represented by ingestion of oocysts in contaminated food and water or air

Cryptosporidium has three developmental stages:

meronts, gamonts and oocysts. They reproduce within the intestinal epithelial cells. Two types of oocyst, thick-walled and thin-walled, are produced during sexual reproduction. Thick-walled oocysts are excreted from the host into the environment, whereas thin-walled oocysts are involved in the internal autoinfective cycle and are not recovered from stools. Oocysts are infectious upon excretion, thus enabling direct and immediate fecal-oral transmission.

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Clinical symptoms

The most common symptom of cryptosporidiosis are watery diarrhea and stomach cramps. Other symptoms may include fever, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite. In Symptoms and severity of infection vary with age and immune status of the host. Cryptosporidium infections are uncommonly detected in cats and dogs. Cryptosporidiosis can sometimes make dogs and cats sick, but animals with signs are atypical. In most cases, epithelial damage is minimal, but in severe cases, infection is associated with loss of the ability to maintain water balance. Clinical signs are usually restricted to mild diarrhea, unless the host is immune suppressed or has another underlying condition such as viral infection or malignancy.


Cryptosporidiosis is a diarrheal disease that is spread through contact with the stool of an infected person or animal. The disease is diagnosed by examining stool samples. Oocyst excretion is intermittent, and multiple stool samples may be needed.

1. Microscopic examination of stool: Most often, stool specimens are examined microscopically using different techniques, such as acid-fast staining, Ziehl-Nielsen staining.

2. Laboratory diagnostic:

A. Real-time PCR: Detecting Cryptosporidium spp. can be done most accurately through a fecal PCR assay. The BIOGUARD Qmini PCR SYSTEM offers a versatile way of obtaining nucleic acid for PCR through its magnetic bead technology. In just under 10 minutes, PCR samples are purified and ready for use. Additionally, the system includes a pre-made lyophilized powder PCR reaction mixer and pre-calibrated PCR protocol, resulting in PCR outcomes in 90 minutes.

B. Immunologic tests, such as direct fluorescent antibody, enzyme immunoassays for detection of Cryptosporidium sp. antigens

To learn more about Qmini PCR, click here

Treatment and Prevention

Most patients with healthy immune systems will recover from cryptosporidiosis without treatment. Supportive measures, oral or parenteral rehydration, and hyperalimentation may be needed for immunocompromised patients with severe disease.

The best way to prevent the spread of Cryptosporidium in the home is by practicing good hygiene.

Webinar: Diseases causing Lymphadenopathy and splenomegaly in dogs: A systematic approach to diagnosing Leishmaniasis (presented in Turkish)

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A free online class brought to you by Bioguard

Get familiar with canine leishmaniasis. Sponsored by Bioguard Corporation and presented by Prof. Dr. Nihat Toplu, this is the next webinar you don't want to miss it.

Access to the on-demand recording is FREE
Obtain a CERTIFICATE of attendance



During the presentation, we will cover the clinicopathologic approach to lymphadenopathy and splenomegaly in dogs, along with the various infectious and non-infectious causes that can lead to these conditions. Additionally, we'll examine the pathogenesis of immune reactions against Leishmania spp. pathogens that can cause lymphadenopathy and splenomegaly in dogs. We'll explore how these pathogens can escape the immune system and the different diagnostic methods that can be used during the clinical course. Specifically, we'll delve into the working mechanisms and diagnostic value of cytology/immunoassay, immunochromatography, serology, and PCR methods.


Prof. Dr. Nihat Toplu is an accomplished veterinarian who graduated from Ankara University, Turkey in 1993. In 2000, he completed his doctoral thesis on the development of specific antibodies and fluorescent antibody techniques for detecting Avian Encephalitis Virus infection in poultry. Since then, he has dedicated himself to researching the mechanisms of various diseases such as Pestiviruses, Akabane virus, West Nile virus, and Leishmaniasis. His work has helped to develop new diagnostic methods and a deep understanding of these illnesses. He now continues his academic career at Aydın Adnan Menderes University (Turkey), where he specializes in Pathology.

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Sep. 13

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9 PM – 10 PM

Turkey Time

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Certificate of Attendance

eCertificate will be issued to the registered attendants joining the webinar for at least 50 minutes.

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Option 1: Watch via ZOOM

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Option 3: Watch at your LEISURE

Registering to attend this webinar will also gain you access to the on-demand recording, which will be available 24 hours later.


We look forward to seeing you at this event.

Happy Learning!

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