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Louis M. Weiss

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date: 25 February 2021

Cystoisospora belli is a coccidian protozoan that colonizes epithelial cells of the small intestine. Infection occurs by ingestion of parasite oocysts in water or food. Clinical features of infection include watery diarrhoea, dehydration, fever, and weight loss in both immune competent and immune deficient patients. Cystoisospora belli forms tissue cysts that allow for relapses of this infection. Cystoisosporiasis presenting as chronic diarrhoea is an opportunistic infection associated with HIV infection. Diagnosis is by microscopic examination of faecal specimens for C. belli oocysts, which show blue autofluorescence under ultraviolet light. Cystoisospora belli infection, even in patients with AIDS, responds rapidly to treatment with co-trimoxazole.

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