Cryptosporidium: an emerging pathogen of global relevance

June 9th 2017
Versione stampabile

Venue: Edificio Povo 2, via Sommarive nr. 9, Povo (Tn) - Room B105
 At 2:00 p.m.

  • Simone Cacciò - Department of Infectious Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy

Cryptosporidium spp. have emerged as an important cause of diarrheal disease in humans and animals, with a global distribution. The epidemiology of cryptosporidiosis is complex, and transmission occurs through both direct (human-to-human, animal-to-human) and indirect (through water and food) routes. In humans, the majority of infections are caused by two species, namely C. hominis and C. parvum; however, a number of other species have been recognized as human pathogens. The burden of disease is particularly high among young children in developing regions of the world, where cryptosporidiosis is one of the major causes of moderate-to-severe diarrhea and is associated with an increased risk of death. In developed countries, contamination of drinking water has caused several large waterborne outbreaks. No treatment is currently available to clear the infection, but recent progress in genetic engineering of the parasite, coupled with advances in genomics, have opened important avenues for future research.