Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options
CDC Home
Share
Compartir

Diagnosis

Cryptosporidium oocysts in a modified acid-fast stain. (CDC Photo; DPDx)

Cryptosporidium oocysts in a modified acid-fast stain. (CDC Photo; DPDx)

Diagnosis of cryptosporidiosis is made by examination of stool samples. Because detection of Cryptosporidium can be difficult, patients may be asked to submit several stool samples over several days. Most often, stool specimens are examined microscopically using different techniques (e.g., acid-fast staining, direct fluorescent antibody [DFA] , and/or enzyme immunoassays for detection of Cryptosporidium sp. antigens).

Molecular methods (e.g., polymerase chain reaction – PCR) are increasingly used in reference diagnostic labs, since they can be used to identify Cryptosporidium spp. at the species level. Tests for Cryptosporidium are not routinely done in most laboratories; therefore, health care providers should specifically request testing for this parasite.

Related Diagnostic Links

For more information about laboratory diagnosis of cryptosporidiosis, see the DPDx Web site:

 
Contact Us:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    1600 Clifton Rd
    Atlanta, GA 30333
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    (800-232-4636)
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
    24 Hours/Every Day
  • cdcinfo@cdc.gov
  • Page last reviewed: November 2, 2010
  • Page last updated: November 2, 2010
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC-INFO