Cyclospora Infection

  • Medical Author:
    Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP

    Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP is the Chair of the Department of Medicine at Michigan State University. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt Medical School, and completed her residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Indiana University.

  • Medical Author: Joseph Rees, MD
  • Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

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What are complications of a Cyclospora infection?

Profuse, watery diarrhea may cause dehydration. Thus, keeping up with fluids is important. Diarrhea also contains salts and potassium, so drinking fluids that contain electrolytes (such as sports drinks) may be beneficial. Left untreated, intermittent or continuous diarrhea may continue for several weeks. Some individuals experience loss of energy that persists for a time after the diarrhea goes away.

What is the prognosis of a Cyclospora infection?

The prognosis of Cyclospora infection is excellent and complete recovery is anticipated. As discussed above, recovery can be hastened by the use of antibiotics in symptomatic people. Patients who are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may relapse after treatment is stopped and should be referred to a physician who specializes in HIV if this occurs.

Is it possible to prevent Cyclospora infections?

Prevention efforts are focused on food safety, especially reducing contamination of produce by human feces. With the global nature of our food supply, it is almost impossible for an individual to eliminate all potential causes of Cyclospora from his or her diet. Because Cyclospora requires a period of time outside of the human body to mature/sporulate, the organism is not passed directly from person to person. It is important to note that people who have recovered from a Cyclospora infection can be infected again if they ingest contaminated food. Currently, there is no available vaccine to prevent Cyclospora infection.

Medically reviewed by Robert Cox, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Infectious Disease

Ortega, Y.R., and Sanchez, R. "Update on Cyclospora cayetanensis, a Food-Borne and Waterborne Parasite." Clinical Microbiology Reviews 23 (2010): 218-234.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Parasites - Cyclosporiasis (Cyclospora Infection)." Jan. 10, 2013. <>.

Wright, S.G. "Protozoan Infections of the Gastrointestinal Tract." Infect Diseases of North America 26 (2012): 323-339.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/4/2015

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  • Cyclospora Infection - Symptoms

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  • Cyclospora Infection - Symptoms

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