Cyclosporiasis/Cyclospora Definition, Symptoms and Causes

Cyclosporiasis – an illness that results from infection with the parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis. The Cyclospora come to maturity in warm, moist environments after excretion in the feces of people who have the infection. This parasite, unlike most, cannot cause immediate infection so people who are infected are not contagious.

People acquire infection with Cyclospora through eating foods or drinking water contaminated with the parasites. The Cyclospora infect the small intestine, causing abdominal cramping and watery diarrhea. Some people also have low-grade fever and generalized discomfort.

Treatment of Cyclosporiasis / Cyclospora

The incubation period (time from infection to illness) is five to seven days. Diagnosis is through laboratory examination of stool samples, which reveals the Cyclospora cysts. Treatment is a course of therapy with antibiotic medications, usually the combination antibiotic drug trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMZ), along with diligent rehydration.

Most people recover rapidly and completely with treatment. Without treatment, relapses of symptoms are common and can continue over a period of several months before full recovery occurs.

See also COCCIDIOIDOMYCOSISCRYPTOCOCCOSISCRYPTOSPORIDIOSISFOODBORNE ILLNESSES; FOOD SAFETY; OPPORTUNISTIC INFECTIONWATERBORNE ILLNESSES.

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