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Chapter 4 : Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae

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Abstract:

The coccidian genera that cause disease in humans include , , , , and . What was previously called and was thought to be the primary species infecting humans is now classified as two separate species, (mammals, including humans) and (primarily humans). Evidence obtained from excystation experiments indicates that the oocyst contains two sporocysts, each containing two sporozoites, a pattern which places these organisms in the coccidian genus . Electron microscopy (EM) confirmed the presence of characteristic organelles for coccidian organisms of the phylum Apicomplexa. Phylogenetic studies have confirmed that the microsporidia evolved from the fungi, being most closely related to the zygomycetes. Microsporidia have extremely small genomes, very similar to those seen in bacteria. A variety of serologic tests have been used to detect immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgM antibodies to microsporidia, particularly to . Although algae are not parasites, it is important to know what they are and the relationship of opportunistic infections with these organisms to the compromised patient. The genus contains several species, the most prevalent of which is . These organisms are achlorophyllic algae found in the slime flux of trees and freshwater environments. Most of the protothecal infections are indolent and very slow to heal. Infections caused by spp. tend to be resistant to 5- fluorocytosine. Although infections caused by spp. are relatively uncommon, the true incidence worldwide may be underestimated.

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Figures

Image of Figure 4.1
Figure 4.1

Life cycle of spp. illustrating various stages. (Illustration by Sharon Belkin.)

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.2
Figure 4.2

Life cycle of spp. (Adapted from W. L. Current and L. S. Garcia, :325–358, 1991.)

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.3
Figure 4.3

spp. (A) Organisms on the brush border of the mucosal surface. (Courtesy of Wilfred M. Weinstein.) (B) Organisms on the mucosal surface, human tissue (scanning electron micrograph, ×4,000). (Courtesy of Marietta Voge.)

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.4
Figure 4.4

oocysts from stool, stained with modified acid-fast stain. Note that in the bottom image some of the sporozoites are visible within the oocyst wall.

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.5
Figure 4.5

Diagnostic work flow diagram leading from submission of stool specimen to final permanent-stained smear for spp. and *Identification of coccidia may be difficult in a direct wet mount unless there are numerous oocysts present. In many laboratories, the use of fecal immunoassays has replaced acid-fast staining techniques for spp. The immunoassays can be performed on unconcentrated material (EIA, lateral-flow rapid cartridge) or concentrated material (FA assay).

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.6
Figure 4.6

Flow diagram demonstrating sources of waterborne transmission of oocysts.

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.7
Figure 4.7

Flow diagram demonstrating sources of food-borne transmission of oocysts.

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.8
Figure 4.8

Flow diagram demonstrating sources of closecontact transmission of oocysts.

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.10
Figure 4.10

oocysts (arrows) detected by immunofluorescent antibodies in fecal spots and on the exoskeleton of house flies () exposed to bovine diarrheal feces containing oocysts. (A) Fly fecal spot. (B) Leg (tibia) with oocyst captured by the hairs. (C) Posterior margin of the wing; note the oocyst captured by the wing bristles. (Photograph courtesy of T. K. Graczyk, with permission.)

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.11
Figure 4.11

(Top) life cycle. (Middle and bottom) in wet preparation, phase contrast. M, mature oocyst; IM, immature oocyst. (Courtesy of Susan Novak [middle] and Charles R. Sterling [bottom].)

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.12
Figure 4.12

Human jejunal biopsy sections containing (courtesy of Ynes Ortega). Hematoxylin-and-eosin-stained sections. (Top) Low magnification (×10). Infected tissue showing villus atrophy and widening of villi. (Second from top) Magnification, ×100. Multiple intracellular forms. (Third from top) Magnification, ×100. Meront. (Bottom) Transmission electron microscopy. Meront with four merozoites.

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.13
Figure 4.13

(Upper) autofluorescence. (Lower) Modified acid-fast stain of (note that some oocysts stain quite dark, while some have not retained the stain; this is typical, and the organisms are described as “modified acid-fast variable”).

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.14
Figure 4.14

Modified acid-fast stain (note the [4 to 6 µm] and [8 to 10 µm] oocysts); the oocyst has not retained the stain.

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.15
Figure 4.15

(1) Immature oocyst of ; (2) mature oocyst of (Illustration by Nobuko Kitamura.)

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.16
Figure 4.16

(Upper) Immature oocyst of , wet preparation. (Lower) Immature oocyst of , modified acid-fast stain (note that the entire oocyst has stained).

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.17
Figure 4.17

Life cycle of (Illustration by Gwen Gloege.)

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.18
Figure 4.18

(Upper) Mature oocyst of , wet preparation. (Lower) Mature oocyst of , modified acid-fast stain.

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.19
Figure 4.19

immature oocyst photographed by phase-contrast microscopy.

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.20
Figure 4.20

Life cycle of spp. (Illustration by Gwen Gloege.)

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.21
Figure 4.21

(Upper) spp. in human muscle. (Lower) Higher magnification showing individual elongate bradyzoites.

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.22
Figure 4.22

Life cycle of microsporidia. (From C. H. Gardiner, R. Fayer, and J. P. Dubey, , U.S. Department of Agriculture handbook no. 651, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C., 1988.)

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.23
Figure 4.23

Spores in enterocyte. Note the position of the spores between the cell nucleus and the lumen of the intestine. Top photograph taken with a 40× objective; middle and bottom photographs taken with a 100× oil immersion lens. Note the dark-staining dot within the spores in the bottom photograph. The tissue was stained with Giemsa stain.

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.24
Figure 4.24

Section of appendix showing spores in muscularis. The anterior end of the spore has a PAS-positive granule (arrows) (PAS, ×1,260). (Armed Forces Institute of Pathology photograph.)

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.25
Figure 4.25

spores in muscularis of jejunum (GMS, ×1,260). (Armed Forces Institute of Pathology photograph.)

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.26
Figure 4.26

Heart. Some spores are acid fast (photographed with green filter; Ziehl-Neelsen, ×1,080). (Armed Forces Institute of Pathology photograph.)

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.27
Figure 4.27

Spores in cytoplasm of intact jejunal enterocyte of a man with intractable diarrhea and malabsorption; transmission electron micrograph of a jejunal suction biopsy specimen. Note the dark oval developing spores; at higher magnification, some of the elements of the polar tubules would be visible. (Courtesy of R. L. Owen; from M. J. G. Farthing and G. I. Keusch (ed.), , Chapman & Hall, Ltd., London, 1987.)

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.28
Figure 4.28

Microsporidian spores. (A) Spores stained with modified trichrome stain (Ryan blue) (note the diagonal or horizontal “stripes” that are evidence of the polar tubule); (B) calcofluor white staining of urine sediment (note the small oval intracellular and extracellular spores) (this is a nonspecific stain but is more likely to represent a true positive than when seen in a stool specimen containing many fluorescing artifacts).

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.29
Figure 4.29

Artifacts stained with a modified trichrome stain (Ryan blue). Note the shape and staining characteristics are not consistent with microsporidial spores; also note the lack of horizontal or diagonal “stripes” representing the polar tubule.

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.30
Figure 4.30

Microsporidian spores. This image shows a positive FA test using -specific reagent. Note the fluorescing spores, indicating the organisms are within the genus

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.31
Figure 4.31

Sporangia containing sporangiospores (endospores) of (Illustration by Sharon Belkin.)

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.32
Figure 4.32

Sporangia containing developing sporangiospores (endospores) of spp.

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.33
Figure 4.33

Ruptured sporangia showing the released sporangiospores (oval to cylindrical).

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Tables

Generic image for table
Table 4.1

Current species names within the genus

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
Generic image for table
Table 4.2

Coccidia

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Table 4.3

Intestinal coccidia: recommended diagnostic procedures

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Table 4.4

Commercially available kits for immunodetection of spp.

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Table 4.5

Testing options for the diagnosis of cryptosporidiosis

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Table 4.6

Chemotherapeutic agents and supportive therapy for the treatment of human cryptosporidiosis

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Table 4.7

Biological factors which impact the epidemiology of

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Table 4.8

Risk factors for acquisition of cryptosporidiosis

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Table 4.9

Factors related to potential outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Table 4.10

Physical disinfection of oocysts

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Table 4.11

Waterborne outbreaks within the United States associated with water intended for drinking

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Untitled

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Table 4.12

Prevention of cryptosporidiosis: recommendations (particularly important for patients who are immunocompromised)

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Table 4.13

Filter options for removal of oocysts: label information

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Table 4.14

Bottled water: label information

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Table 4.15

Possible surveillance approaches for the establishment of baseline data on the occurrence of cryptosporidiosis

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Table 4.16

Potential sources for oocysts related to accidental human ingestion of contaminated food and/or water

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Table 4.17

Outbreaks of infection

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Table 4.18

development and disease symptoms in humans

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Table 4.19

Protozoan cysts, oocysts, sporocysts, and spores seen in human feces

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Table 4.20

Microsporidia causing human infection

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Table 4.21

Microsporidia: general information

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4
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Table 4.22

Microsporidia: recommended diagnostic techniques

Citation: Garcia L. 2007. Intestinal Protozoa (Coccidia and Microsporidia) and Algae, p 57-101. In Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816018.ch4

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