In pathology, cryptosporidiosis is a disease caused by a parasitic protozoan, Cryptosporidium. Symptoms include fever, watery diarrhea, and cough. Its mode of transmission is by fecal-oral route, contaminated food, drinking water, or fomites. The parasite inhabits the distal small intestine (as in the case of intestinal cryptosporidiosis) and the respiratory tract (as in the case of respiratory cryptosporidiosis) of the host. In severely immunocompromised individuals, the condition may be fatal as the parasite could affect other organs such as pancreas, urinary bladder, hepatobiliary system, and upper gastrointestinal tract. Its infective agent, Cryptosporidium belongs to the phylum Apicomplexa. In humans, the species that are often associated with this disease include C. parvum and C. hominis.
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