Molecular tools have been developed to detect and differentiate Cryptosporidium at the species/genotype and subtype levels. These tools have been increasingly used in characterizing the transmission of Cryptosporidium spp. in humans and animals. Results of these molecular epidemiologic studies have led to better appreciation of the public health importance of Cryptosporidium species/genotypes in various animals and improved understanding of infection sources in humans. Geographic, seasonal and socioeconomic differences in the distribution of Cryptosporidium spp. in humans have been identified, and have been attributed to differences in infection sources and transmission routes. The transmission of C. parvum in humans is mostly anthroponotic in developing countries, with zoonotic infections play an important role in developed countries. Species of Cryptosporidium and subtype families of C. hominis have been shown to induce different clinical manifestations and have different potential to cause outbreaks. The wide use of a new generation of genotyping and subtyping tools in well designed epidemiologic studies should lead to a more in-depth understanding of the epidemiology of cryptosporidiosis in humans and animals.
Published by Elsevier Inc.