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Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness caused by the microscopic parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis.

People can become infected with Cyclospora by consuming food or water contaminated with the parasite. People living or traveling in countries where cyclosporiasis is endemic may be at increased risk for infection.

Image: Infected people shed unsporulated (non-infective; immature) Cyclospora cayetanensis oocysts in their stool; immature oocysts usually require at least 1 week under favorable laboratory conditions to sporulate (become infective). An unsporulated oocyst, with undifferentiated cytoplasm, is shown (far left), next to a sporulating oocyst that contains two immature sporocysts (A). An oocyst that was mechanically ruptured has released one of its two sporocysts (B). One free sporocyst is shown as well as two free sporozoites, the infective stage of the parasite (C). Credit: CDC/DPDM.

  • Page last reviewed: February 28, 2015
  • Page last updated: July 28, 2016
  • Content source:
    • Global Health - Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria
    • Notice: Linking to a non-federal site does not constitute an endorsement by HHS, CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the site.
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