Journal Article

<i>Cyclospora cayetanensis:</i> A Review, Focusing on the Outbreaks of Cyclosporiasis in the 1990s

Larry J. Strausbaugh and Barbara L. Herwaldt

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 31, issue 4, pages 1040-1057
Published in print October 2000 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online October 2000 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/314051
Cyclospora cayetanensis: A Review, Focusing on the Outbreaks of Cyclosporiasis in the 1990s

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Cyclospora cayetanensis, a coccidian parasite that causes protracted, relapsing gastroenteritis, has a short recorded history. In retrospect, the first 3 documented human cases of Cyclospora infection were diagnosed in 1977 and 1978. However, not much was published about the organism until the 1990s. One of the surprises has been the fact that a parasite that likely requires days to weeks outside the host to become infectious has repeatedly caused foodborne outbreaks, including large multistate outbreaks in the United States and Canada. In this review, I discuss what has been learned about this enigmatic parasite since its discovery and what some of the remaining questions are. My focus is the foodborne and waterborne outbreaks of cyclosporiasis that were documented from 1990 through 1999. The occurrence of the outbreaks highlights the need for health care personnel to consider that seemingly isolated cases of infection could be part of widespread outbreaks and should be reported to public health officials. Health care personnel should also be aware that stool specimens examined for ova and parasites usually are not examined for Cyclospora unless such testing is specifically requested and that Cyclospora infection is treatable with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole.

Journal Article.  10672 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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