Overview

Brief Summary

The coccidian parasite Cystoisospora belli (=Isospora belli) (phylum Apicomplexa) infects the epithelial cells of the small intestine of humans and causes diarrheal disease and a suite of symptoms known as cystoisosporiasis. It is the least common of the intestinal coccidia that infect humans. Cystoisospora belli occurs worldwide, especially in tropical and subtropical areas. Infection and more serious symptoms occur especially in immunodepressed individuals (e.g., AIDS patients) and outbreaks have been reported in institutionalized groups in the United States. (Source: Centers for Disease Control Parasites and Health Website) Contaminated food and water are generally believed to be the primary mode of transmission.

This parasite appears not to require a non-human host in its life cycle, completing both asexual and sexual phases within a single human host. However, it is not yet clear whether other animals may nevertheless function as reservoirs or paratenic hosts (i.e., hosts not required for the life cycle, but which may sustain it until it reaches an appropriate host). The oocysts of C. belli usually require less than one day to a few days after passage from a human intestine to complete sporogonic development and become infective. (Lindsay et al. 1997; Jongwutiwes et al. 2007) Lindsay et al. (1997) reviewed the life cycle of C. belli and related species (Lindsay et al. 1997). The biology of related parasites infecting domesticated mammals and non-human primates was reviewed by Lindsay and Blagburn (1994).

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Distribution

Cystoisospora belli occurs worldwide, especially in tropical and subtropical areas (Centers for Disease Control Parasites and Health Website).

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Risks

Cystoisospora belli causes intestinal disease in several mammalian hosts, with infections believed to arise from the ingestion of sporulated oocysts in contaminated food or water. Infection, which is difficult to distinguish from cryptosporidiosis, is usually self-limiting and characterized by watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, anorexia, and weight loss. Cystoisospora belli is often the agent responsible for traveler's diarrhea in travelers to developing countries where it is widespread. It is more common in AIDS patients, other immunocompromised patients, and indigenous populations in the United States.

(Fletcher et al. 2012 and references therein)

  • Fletcher, S.M., D. Stark, J. Harkness, et al. 2012. Enteric Protozoa in the Developed World: a Public Health Perspective. Clinical Microbiology Reviews 25(3): 420-449.
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The coccidian parasite Cystoisospora belli (=Isospora belli) (phylum Apicomplexa) infects the epithelial cells of the small intestine of humans and causes diarrheal disease and a suite of symptoms known as cystoisosporiasis. It is the least common of the intestinal coccidia that infect humans. Infection and more serious symptoms occur especially in immunodepressed individuals (e.g., AIDS patients) and outbreaks have been reported in institutionalized groups in the United States.

(Centers for Disease Control Parasites and Health Website)

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Wikipedia

Isospora belli

Isospora belli is a species of internal parasites classified under Coccidia. It is responsible for the condition isosporiasis. Autofluorescence aids detection.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bialek, R; Binder, N; Dietz, K; Knobloch, J; Zelck, Ue (Sep 2002), "Comparison of autofluorescence and iodine staining for detection of Isospora belli in feces" (Free full text), The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 67 (3): 304–5, ISSN 0002-9637, PMID 12408672 
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