Diarrhea, abdominal cramps, loss of appetite, low-grade fever, and nausea and vomiting are the cluster of signs and symptoms associated with cryptosporidiosis. The infection may be asymptomatic in some persons. The illness also can be prolonged and life threatening in immunocompromised patients. It is caused by the protozoa Cryptosporidium parvum.
In the laboratory, the diagnosis is confirmed by detecting oocysts in stool or demonstrating Cryptosporidium in intestinal fluid or small bowel biopsy specimens. Additionally, identifying Cryptosporidium antigen in stool by specific immunodiagnostic testing will confirm the diagnosis of cryptosporidiosis.
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