Document Type

Honors Thesis




Sue Ishaq

Committee Members

Kathleen Ellis, Leonard Kass

Graduation Year

August 2022

Publication Date

Fall 8-2022


Cryptosporidiosis is increasingly emerging as the most significant cause of infectious diarrhea in humans and livestock. In humans, studies show that Cryptosporidiosis disease is more prevalent in the immunocompromised and young ones. However, outbreaks from contaminated water sources have caused disease in healthy adults, too. Two main species of the protozoan causative agent,Cryptosporidium parvum and Cryptosporidium hominis are responsible for most human infections. Cattle, pets, mice, and other livestock can transmit theCryptosporidiumparvumvariantsto humans through fecal transmission. Other species of Cryptosporidium can infect domestic animals, but their host range is narrow; therefore, they are not of significant concern to human health. While most people can recover from the disease without medication, specific antidiarrhea drugs can treat the disease in people with a healthy immune system. But there are no approved drugs for immunocompromised adults or children. This review will cover the factors that support the survival of Cryptosporidium in humans, the current treatments, detection, prevention methods as well as an experiment to compare some staining methods used to detect Cryptosporidium in labs.