Cryptosporidium Parvum Report
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Cryptosporidium parvum is a waterborne disease caused by drinking or swallowing contaminated water. Aside from that, it also spreads by eating uncooked food and coming in contact with the feces of infected individuals or animals. The number of cases of Cryptosporidium reported in 2010 was 8,951. The usual rate of reported cases of Cryptosporidium is between 2.3% and 3.9% per 100,000 populations. However, the estimated number shows that the frequency of infection is 100 times higher than the number of reported cases. Cryptosporidium, which is a protozoan parasite, has its present everywhere around the world except Antarctica as it likes to live in moist and warm environments. The parasite typically lives in the intestine of the host. Primarily spread by contaminated water, this disease, however, does not spread via blood.
Some people infected with "Crypto" are asymptomatic, and for those showcasing symptoms, the first sign of the disease surfaces within a week after being infected with the parasite. The most apparent symptoms of the disease include watery diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramps, fever, dehydration, N/V, the lack of appetite, and the consequent weight loss (Mayo Clinic, 2015). The symptoms usually last for about 2 weeks, coming and going for up to 30 days (CDC, 2010). Depending on the immunity of a person, the disease might get severe and fatal. The diagnosis of the disease includes the patients submitting stool samples that are either examined microscopically or by the methods of acid-fast staining direct fluorescent antibody and enzyme immunoassays polymerase chain reaction (CDC, 2010).
Since only a few studies have been conducted on the immune responses to C. parvum in humans, the exact nature of the same is not well-understood still. However, immunity plays a big role in fighting and preventing the spread of the disease. The innate immune response is triggered by antimicrobial peptide, toll-like receptors, chemokines, cytokines, mannose-binding lectin, prostaglandins and substance P. The adaptive immune response is triggered by T cells and cell-mediated immunity, humoral immunity and antibodies, and Cryptosporidium antigens (Borad and Ward, 2010). The spread of the disease is caused by the ingestion of thick-walled Cryptosporidium oocyst, and the disease can be transmitted when the host gets exposed to contaminated water or infected animals.
The treatment options for Cryptosporidium parvum are various. Normally functioning individuals usually fight the disease and restore their health within a week without any further assistance. However, in cases requiring assistance, treatment is done by administering Antiparasitic Drugs, Antimotility Agents, Fluid Replacement, and Antiretroviral Therapies. Antimotility Agents reduce the symptom of diarrhea by preventing the movement of digestive materials in the intestines and allowing more water to be absorbed back into the body. In fluid replacement, fluids are administered either intravenously or orally to substitute the lost electrolytes and maintain the fluid balance in the body (Cabada, 2014). Antiretroviral Therapies, also known as Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) are used for patients with HIV/AIDS. HAART strengthens the immunity by reducing the virus amount in the body, enabling it to fight the parasite (Pearson, 2013).
In order to prevent this disease, it is important to maintain good hygiene by washing hands frequently, especially before preparing or eating food, after using the bathroom and after changing diapers. Children infected with the disease should stay home until completely recuperated and must not swim in public pools. They should be washed thoroughly after using the bathroom or the changing of diapers (CDC, 2010). Drinking or using contaminated water and staying near the feces of young animals must be avoided.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2010). Disease. Retrieved on 9th February, 2015 from <http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/crypto/disease.html>
Mayo Clinic. (2015). Cryptosporidium infection Definition - Diseases and Conditions - Mayo Clinic. Retrieved on 9th February, 2015 from <http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cryptosporidium/basics/definition/CON-20030375>
White, A. C. and Seenivasan, M. H. (2015). Cryptosporidium parvum (Cryptosporidiosis) - Infectious Disease and Antimicrobial Agents. Antimicrobe. Retrieved on 9th February, 2015 from <http://www.antimicrobe.org/b138.asp>
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2011). Epidemiology & Risk Factors. Retrieved on 9th February, 2015 from <http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/crypto/epi.html>
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2010). Prevention & Control of Cryptosporidiosis. Retrieved on 9th February, 2015 from <http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/crypto/prevention.html>
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2010). Parasites - Cryptosporidium (also known as "Crypto"): Diagnosis. Retrieved on 9th February, 2015 from <http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/crypto/diagnosis.html>
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2010). Parasites - Cryptosporidium (also known as "Crypto"): Biology. Retrieved on 9th February, 2015 from <http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/crypto/biology.html>.
Cabada, M.M. (2014). Cryptosporidiosis. Medscape. Retrieved on 9th February, 2015 from <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/215490-overview#a0156>
Pearson, R.D. (2013). Cryptosporidiosis. Merck Manuals. Retrieved on 9th February, 2015 from <http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/infectious_diseases/intestinal_protozoa/cryptosporidiosis.html>
Borad, A. and Ward, H. (2010). Human immune responses in cryptosporidiosis. Future Microbiology, 5, 507-519. doi: 10.2217/fmb.09.128. Retrieved on 9th February, 2015 from <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2856646>
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