Cryptosporidiosis

Cryptosporidium is an intestinal parasite infecting a variety of animals, e.g. humans, cattle, sheep, rodents, cats and dogs, but also birds, fish and reptiles.  Most human cases of cryptosporidiosis are due to two species; Cryptosporidium hominis, which mainly infects humans, and the zoonotic species Cryptosporidium parvum, which also infects domestic animals, in particular young calves and lambs. In addition, several other zoonotic species can infect humans, including Cryptosporidium meleagridisCryptosporidium cuniculusCryptosporidium ubiquitumCryptosporidium canisCryptosporidium felisCryptosporidium viatorum and Cryptosporidium sp. chipmunk genotype I.

In humans, the infection can be without any symptoms, however, healthy individuals often develop a diarrhea that spontaneously resolves over a couple of weeks. By contrast, patients with impaired immune system may develop profuse, life-threatening, watery diarrhea that is very difficult to treat with currently available drugs.

Transmission is fecal-oral by ingestion of infectious oocysts, by direct contact with infected persons or animals or through contaminated water and food. Cryptosporidium oocysts can survive for months in moist soil or water and survive harsh environmental conditions (e.g. heat, cold) for extended periods of time.

Outbreaks have been reported in hospitals, daycare centres, within households, among people eating the same food, among people pursuing recreational water activities (in lakes and swimming pools), and in municipalities with contaminated public water supplies. Water distribution systems are particularly vulnerable to contamination with Cryptosporidium, which can survive most disinfection procedures such as chlorination.

Latest outputs

Publication

Cryptosporidiosis - Annual Epidemiological Report for 2017

Surveillance report -

Publication

Cryptosporidiosis - Annual Epidemiological Report for 2016

Surveillance report -

Publication

Cryptosporidiosis - Annual Epidemiological Report for 2015

Surveillance report -

Publication

Cryptosporidiosis - Annual Epidemiological Report for 2014

Surveillance report -

Data

Presentation for parents and teachers​

Presentation -

Peer-Reviewed Publication

European monitoring systems and data for assessing environmental and climate impacts on human infectious diseases

Apr 2014

Peer-Reviewed Publication

A Decision support tool to compare waterborne and foodborne infection and/or illness risks associated with climate change

Jun 2013

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Climate Change Impact Assessment of Food- and Waterborne Diseases

Mar 2012

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Knowledge Mapping for Climate Change and Food- and Waterborne Diseases

Dec 2011

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Cryptosporidiosis surveillance and water-borne outbreaks in Europe.

May 2007

Featured

Publication

Communication toolkit on gastrointestinal diseases: How to support infection prevention in schools

Tool, Communication toolkit -

This toolkit aims to support infection prevention in schools, with a focus on gastrointestinal diseases, by assisting EU/EEA countries in their communication initiatives for disease prevention in school settings.

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Disease networks

European Food- and Waterborne Diseases and Zoonoses Network (FWD-Net)