Cyclospora: A Emerging Pathogen Arround The World, Commoly Found In Companion Animals

There are different intestinal pathogen that resides in the intestinal tract of animals and humans. Cyclospora is one of them.

Consumption of undercooked food, contaminated raw vegetables and fruits responsible for spreading various intestinal parasitic diseases. Some parasites transmit from humans to humans and some of them from animals to humans

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Cyclospora, a coccidian parasite, single celled eukaryote belonging to the phylum apicomplexa. Species Cyclospora cayetenansis commonly causes infection through contaminated food and water as these both act as the source of infection.

Cyclospora cayetenansis has been recently found an emerging pathogen that are responsible for zoonoses and it has recently been identified in East African primates.


  • Cyclosporiasis spread through feco-oral route.
  • By eating and drinking contaminated food and water, animals and humans can get infection.
  • Once oocysts of Cyclospora enter into the gastrointestinal tract, they resides there and get attach to mucosal lining of intestinal endothelium. They incubate there. Their incubation period is about 3-6 days.
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Clinical Sign

After completing its incubation, infected animals begin to show clinical signs such as fever, watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, bloating and muscles aches.


Afterwards from infected animals oocysts released in their feces. Sometimes fertilizers that apply to the soil to enhance crop production, are also a major source of transmission of cyclosporiasis because it contain feces having numerous oocysts.

Cyclospora also found in contaminated pool water, river water and in sewage. Also found in vegetables such as raddish, cabbage and cauliflower.

Role of companion animals

Dogs and cats are considered to be companion animals and people usually kept them indoors in some areas. So it was concluded from different researches that they are the source of cyclosporiasis.  

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  • To prevent the infection, it is suggested that the regular deworming of cats and dogs will prevent them from getting infection.
  • Cats litter may contain oocysts of several parasites so mainly pregnant women should stay away from it especially during pregnancy.
Ayesha Ahmed, Ali Virk 
Department of Parasitology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad

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