WHAT IS CRYPTOSPORIDIUM DIAGNOSTIC PROCEDURES TEST?
To detect the presence of Cryptosporidium, a coccidian obligate parasite that inhabits the intestinal mucosa and respiratory tracts of many animals (deer, horses, geese) and can cause diarrhoea in humans. In clients with intact immune systems, cryptosporidiosis is self-limited to 2 weeks or less. In immunocompromised clients, the disease causes severe diarrhoea lasting weeks to years. In this test, Cryptosporidium oocysts must be distinguished from yeast cells. Iodine stains are used to differentiate yeast cells, which do stain, from Cryptosporidium oocysts, which do not stain. An acid-fast stain is then performed on a smear of the fixed or unfixed stool to confirm the presence of Cryptosporidium. In a positive test, Cryptosporidium oocysts stain bright red, but yeast cells do not stain.