Cryptosporidium parvum

Cryptosporidium parvum is a single-celled small intestine parasite of the genus Cryptosporidium.

Cryptosporidium parvum triggers cryptosporidiosis, a zoonosis that is mainly transmitted by mammals. Disease symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea

  • Gastroenteritis

  • Cholangitis (inflammation of the bile ducts)

  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)

Cryptosporidium parvum occurs worldwide and colonizes the small intestine of humans and various mammals such as dogs, cats, cattle, sheep, and pigs. Infectious oocysts (spores) of the pathogen show high resistance to disinfectants such as chlorine.

Relevance of pathogen in transmission in endoscopy

  • Gastroenterology: High

  • Pulmonology: Not relevant

  • Ear, nose, and throat: Not relevant

  • Urology: Not relevant

Relevance for endoscope surveillance

  • High concern organism

Transmission route

Cryptosporidium parvum is transmitted by the fecal–oral route via contaminated water or food, as well as via contact infections.

Resistance to antibiotics

Cryptosporidium parvum shows low susceptibility to many antimicrobial agents.

Sources and further readings

  1. Barbee SL et al. Inactivation of Cryptosporidium parvum oocyst infectivity by disinfection and sterilization processes, Gastrointest. Endosc. 1999 May; 49(5):605-11.

  2. Campbell I et al. Effect of disinfectants on survival of Cryptosporidium oocysts, Vet Rec. 1982 Oct 30;111(18):414–5.

  3. Gries O/Ly T. Infektologie – Kompendium humanpathogener Infektionskrankheiten und Erreger, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2019.

  4. Kryptosporidiose, Robert Koch-Institut, Accessed on 07.30.2021.