Cryptosporidium hominis, Cryptosporidium parvum, Cryptosporidium meleagridis, Cryptosporidium felis and Cryptosporidium canis have been identified as the major types of Cryptosporidium that cause infection in humans. While presence of C. canis, C. felis and C. meleagridis has been confirmed in AIDS patients. They have the capability to infect both immuno-competent and immuno-compromised individuals (Tzipori, p. 884-886).
It considered an important source of morbidity and mortality in young children. Every year about 400-500 people in New York alone are infected by the parasite. It has been known to cause short term diarrhea in young children but if severe may even cause long term problems in immuno-compromised persons (Guerrant, p. 707-13).
This parasite is usually found in the soil food and water, or surfaces that are known to come in contact with feces. It is how ever not known to spread via contact with blood (CDC). Most Infections tend to spread by the oral-fecal route. That entails the droppings of an infected animal and the transmission of the parasite via the mouth. This parasite can also spread by person to person, by eating contaminated food and by drinking contaminated water. It is in fact because the parasite is transmitted via the oral fecal route that it is often found in people with poor hygiene, diapered children and people with diarrhea. The infection can also spread by eating contaminated, uncooked food and also by touching hands which may be infected with the parasite to the mouth. Exposure to feces via sexual contact may also be one more source of infection (CDC). Never the less it is important to note that a short term infection may have long term consequences (Guerrant, p. 707-13). The degree of infection is usually directly related to the severity and onset of disease. Some adults with incompetent immune systems such as seen widely