We describe recent advances in the genomics and population biology of Cryptosporidium parvum and C. hominis, the causative agents of cryptosporidiosis in humans and animals. Many basic aspects of the biology of Cryptosporidium species remain to be investigated and effective drugs to control cryptosporidiosis are not available. Sequencing and annotation of the genome of C. parvum and C. hominis has uncovered unique features of the metabolism of these species. The recently sequenced genome of the gastric species C. muris is providing new insights into the evolution of the genus. Cryptosporidian sequence information has facilitated the identification of polymorphic genetic markers. Genotyping of oocysts excreted by human and animal hosts using such markers has revealed many new species and genotypes, and is leading to a better understanding of the epidemiology of cryptosporidiosis.
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.