Cyclospora cayetanensis is a 8-10 µm in diameter coccidian protozoan parasite, that produces an intestinal infection in nonimmune persons that is ultimately self-limited.
Endemic in 27 countries around the world. Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Puerto Rico, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe
It can last up to 7-9 wk and is characterized by cyclical diarrhea.
It may be associated by fatigue, malaise, anorexia, nausea, weight loss, abdominal cramping and interspersed with periods of remission.
May be preceded by a flulike prodrome.
Low-grade fever and malabsorption may occur.
Affects both immunocompetent and immunocompromised individuals.
Immunocompromised individuals potentially have more severe symptoms.
Prevalence varies with the season and from year to year, with highest rates in spring and early summer
Children 9 years of age or older account for 70-80% cases, which are typically asymptomatic.
Asymptomatic disease is common in older children and adults.
Transmission occurs primarily through ingestion of contaminated foods including fruits, vegetables and water.
No documented human-to-human transmission exists.
Infection causes watery diarrhea.
Diagnosis requires the identification of the cyclospora parasite in stool samples.
Treatment for cyclospora infection is antibiotics, and the only consistently effective treatment is with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMZ).