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Epidemiology of Cryptosporidium spp. with Application to Control of Cryptosporidiosis in Livestock and Humans in Ethiopia

Cryptosporidium spp. are zoonotic protozoan parasites globally recognized as an important cause of diarrhea in people and cattle. Infection with Cryptosporidium is life threatening in immunocompromised individuals. There are no consistently effective treatments or vaccines. Contact with animals and their manure is a known risk factor for cryptosporidiosis. The frequency, duration, and extent of contact depends upon the type of husbandry system. To date, contact with animals as it relates to husbandry system and disease risk has not been described. In the Amhara region of Ethiopia, husbandry systems range from nomadic to intensive, with individuals having minimal to significant daily interaction with livestock and manure. As such, we aim to: 1) Determine the prevalence of cryptosporidiosis and describe the frequency of Cryptosporidium spp.; 2) Identify risk factors related to type of animal exposure within existing husbandry systems that are associated with cryptosporidiosis in people; 3) Based on type of animal exposure, determine the difference in incidence of cryptosporidiosis in people.

We hypothesize that there is varying prevalence of cryptosporidiosis, and that the risk of cryptosporidiosis is associated with specific types of animal exposures within husbandry systems, and that different exposures are associated with differences in disease incidence. Study results will identify risk factors for cryptosporidiosis based on the type of animal exposure and will determine the impact of these risk factors on disease incidence.

Through the identification of disease risk factors, interventions can be developed to reduce zoonotic disease transmission and in turn promote human, animal, and ecosystem health.