There are several ways for Cryptosporidium infection to be acquired:
- person to person contact with an infected individual
- contact with infected animals or their faeces
- drinking contaminated water such as from lochs and streams or from contaminated supplies
- swimming in contaminated water
- eating contaminated food such as raw vegetables and salads
Infection can be more severe in people who are immunocompromised.
Visit the NHS Inform website to find out about the symptoms of Cryptosporidium and how you can reduce the risk of infection.
Go to the Food Standards Scotland website for guidance on the safe handling of food.
If you are travelling, the fitfortravel website gives advice on reducing the chance of infection by following their food and water precautions.
For all infection prevention and control guidance visit the A-Z pathogens section of the National Infection and Prevention Control Manual.
Read more in the following scientific papers:
- An audit of Cryptosporidium and Giardia detection in Scottish National Health Services Diagnostic Microbiology Laboratories
- Molecular diversity of Scottish Cryptosporidium hominis isolates
- An outbreak of Cryptosporidium parvum across England & Scotland associated with consumption of fresh pre-cut salad leaves
- Molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium parvum isolates from human cryptosporidiosis cases in Scotland
Data and surveillance
View annual totals for cryptosporidium in the ten-year gastrointestinal and zoonoses data tables.