Cryptosporidium is a genus of protozoan parasites that causes Cryptosporidiosis, a zoonotic disease that causes gastrointestinal illness in healthy people, but could be life-threatening in immunocompromised patients. During the 2006 – 2008 period in de USA, the number of reported cases of cryptosporidiosis increased dramatically (79.9%), from 6,479 for 2006 to 11,657 for 2007, and then decreased (9.9%) to 10,500 in 2008. A greater number of case reports were received for children aged 1--9 years and for adults aged 25--39 years than were received for persons in other age groups. Peak onset of illness occurred annually during early summer through early fall.
Its low infectious dose, protracted communicability, and chlorine tolerance make Cryptosporidium ideally suited for transmission through drinking and recreational water, food, and both person-to-person and animal-to-person. Water appears to be the more important transmission route for Cryptosporidium and frequently is implicated in cryptosporidiosis outbreaks and in studies of sporadic cases.
Although no formalized national plan exists for preventing cryptosporidiosis in the United States, multiple efforts are focused on reducing the transmission of the parasite through the two major routes of waterborne transmission (recreational and drinking).
In Chile, it is necessary to evaluate the risk of this parasite in drinking water. It’s also important to start searching Cryptosporidium in people with gastrointestinal symptoms to evaluate the prevalence of this parasitic disease in our country.
Fuente: CDC http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5906a1.htm?s_cid=ss5906a1_e