Few details are known about the pathogenesis of cryp-tosporidiosis. Following ingestion, the digestive juices of the small intestine release the sporozoites from the oocysts. The sporozoites invade the epithelial cells of the small intestine, causing deformity of the epithelium and intestinal villi and an inflammatory response beneath the cells. Secretion of water and electrolytes increases and absorption of nutrients decreases, but the mechanism is unknown. Cell-meditated immunity is important in controlling the infection.

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