Cryptosporidium and Bile Duct Injury
Cryptosporidium causes self-limited diarrhea in immunocompetent subjects and potentially life-threatening syndromes in immunocompromised individuals, primarily those with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). AIDS-cholangiopathy, an important biliary disorder resulting in significant morbidity and mortality in AIDS patients, is most often due to Cryptosporidium infection of the biliary tract. The molecular mechanisms by which the organism infects biliary epithelia and contributes to the pathogenesis of cryptosporidiosis and AIDS-cholangiopathy are unclear. Currendy, there is no antiparasitic agent to eradicate the organism. The objective of this review is to summarize briefly the available literature on the parasitology of Cryptosporidium and the pathophysiology of AIDS-cholangiopathy.