Cryptosporidium and agriculture: A review

Sci Total Environ. 2024 Mar 15:916:170057. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2024.170057. Epub 2024 Jan 18.


Cryptosporidiosis is a significant contributor to global foodborne and waterborne disease burden. It is a widespread cause of diarrheal diseases that affect humans and animals worldwide. Agricultural environments can become a source of contamination with Cryptosporidium species through faecal material derived from humans and animals. This review aims to report the main findings of scientific research on Cryptosporidium species related to various agricultural sectors, and highlights the risks of cryptosporidiosis in agricultural production, the contamination sources, the importance of animal production in transmission, and the role of farmed animals as hosts of the parasites. Agricultural contamination sources can cause water pollution in groundwater and different surface waters used for drinking, recreational purposes, and irrigation. The application of contaminated manure, faecal sludge management, and irrigation with inadequately treated water are the main concerns associated with foodborne and waterborne cryptosporidiosis related to agricultural activities. The review emphasizes the public health implications of agriculture concerning the transmission risk of Cryptosporidium parasites and the urgent need for a new concept in the agriculture sector. Furthermore, the findings of this review provide valuable information for developing appropriate measures and monitoring strategies to minimize the risk of infection.

Keywords: Agriculture; Animal; Cryptosporidium; Food; Human; Water.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture
  • Animals
  • Cryptosporidiosis* / epidemiology
  • Cryptosporidium*
  • Humans
  • Water / parasitology
  • Water Pollution


  • Water