Advances in Cyclosporiasis Diagnosis and Therapeutic Intervention

Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2020 Feb 11:10:43. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2020.00043. eCollection 2020.


Cyclosporiasis is caused by the coccidian parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis and is associated with large and complex food-borne outbreaks worldwide. Associated symptoms include severe watery diarrhea, particularly in infants, and immune dysfunction. With the globalization of human food supply, the occurrence of cyclosporiasis has been increasing in both food growing and importing countries. As well as being a burden on the health of individual humans, cyclosporiasis is a global public health concern. Currently, no vaccine is available but early detection and treatment could result in a favorable clinical outcome. Clinical diagnosis is based on cardinal clinical symptoms and conventional laboratory methods, which usually involve microscopic examination of wet smears, staining tests, fluorescence microscopy, serological testing, or DNA testing for oocysts in the stool. Detection in the vehicle of infection, which can be fresh produce, water, or soil is helpful for case-linkage and source-tracking during cyclosporiasis outbreaks. Treatment with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX) can evidently cure C. cayetanensis infection. However, TMP-SMX is not suitable for patients having sulfonamide intolerance. In such case ciprofloxacin, although less effective than TMP-SMX, is a good option. Another drug of choice is nitazoxanide that can be used in the cases of sulfonamide intolerance and ciprofloxacin resistance. More epidemiological research investigating cyclosporiasis in humans should be conducted worldwide, to achieve a better understanding of its characteristics in this regard. It is also necessary to establish in vitro and/or in vivo protocols for cultivating C. cayetanensis, to facilitate the development of rapid, convenient, precise, and economical detection methods for diagnosis, as well as more effective tracing methods. This review focuses on the advances in clinical features, diagnosis, and therapeutic intervention of cyclosporiasis.

Keywords: clinical features; cyclosporiasis; detection methods; prevention; therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cyclospora*
  • Cyclosporiasis* / diagnosis
  • Cyclosporiasis* / drug therapy
  • Cyclosporiasis* / epidemiology
  • Diarrhea / diagnosis
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Feces
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Oocysts