Cyclospora cayetanensis is part of the coccidia group of apicomplexans. It infects the intestines of humans and causes explosive diarrhea. The infection is not self-limiting and treatment is necessary. The drugs used to treat Cyclospora cayetanensis are the same drugs used to treat Eimeria spp. It is rare in the USA.
The infection is transmitted when a person ingests oocysts in fecally contaminated food or water. The host's GI tract cause the oocysts to excyst and release sporozoites. After these sporozoites invade the epithelial cells, they undergo merogony; which results in many daughter merozoites. These daughter cells may either infect new host cells and repeat the cycle of merogony or they can take undergo sexual reproduction via gametogenesis. After fertilization has occurred via microgametocyte (male gamete) fusion with a macrogametocyte (female gamete), a zygote forms and matures into an oocyst and ruptures the host cell. At this point it is able to be passed within the stool. And this repeats the life cycle.
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