This parasite, Cryptosporidium parvum, has interactions with many species with humans being greatly affected. One main parasitic interaction this parasite has with humans is that it can cause the disease Cryptosporidiosis. This disease causes the human to have severe diarrhea, weight loss, electrolyte imbalance, and abdominal pain that could be long term depending upon your immune system’s status (Upton, 2008). Individuals under the age of two are more likely to obtain this disease, but everyone is potentially at risk (Virginia Department of Health, 2013).
The disease can be found everywhere throughout the world and even within our very own state. In fact, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 403,000 cases were reported in 1993 with this epidemic being one of largest waterborne outbreaks in the United States ever recorded (NZFSA, 2010). This is crazy to think about, right?C. parvum on intestine by Richard Jakowski
C. parvum is very common among animals such as white or black tailed deer, elk, fish, birds, domestic animals, and especially calves; also parasitic interactions. In fact, one hundred and fifty five species of mammals have been reported to have this parasite interaction with Cryptosporidium parvum (NZFSA, 2010). This parasite has an outer shell that protects it and keeps it alive outside the body for some period of time, though it can’t replicate outside the intestines.
This parasite is also found within various types of raw food including fruits (such as grapes or cranberries which get washed before being eaten), vegetables, milk, and meat that can then affect a potential host (Duffy and Moriarty, 2003). Though Cryptosporidium parvum cannot grow within food, it will survive and become harmful for consumers.

For more information on the disease caused by C. parvum involving humans please visit this website for more information:

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