Treatment of cryptosporidiosis: nitazoxanide yes, but we can do better

Maria A. Caravedo, A. Clinton White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: Cryptosporidiosis was initially recognized as an important cause of diarrhea in AIDS patients. It has been underdiagnosed in other populations. Recent studies have highlighted the importance of Cryptosporidium as a cause of diarrhea and malnutrition in young children in resource-poor countries and an emerging pathogen in organ-transplant recipients. Areas covered: Nitazoxanide is FDA approved for treatment of cryptosporidiosis in immunocompetent people. However, it is less effective in HIV and transplant patients and malnourished children. In transplant recipients, there is emerging data on antiparasitic combinations for cryptosporidiosis, including combinations of nitazoxanide, azithromycin, and in one case rifaximin. High-throughput phenotypic screens have identified some potential treatments. Among them, clofazimine was no better than placebo in a trial in AIDS patients. There have also been efforts to develop drug versus specific parasite targets. However, in part due to safety issues, none of these compounds have advanced into clinical trials. Expert opinion: Development of new and more efficacious therapies for cryptosporidium is imperative. Current approve therapy is far from optimal and lacks efficacy in high-risk populations, such as, patients living with HIV. Additionally, there is limited data on patients with other types of immunosuppression (Transplanted, autoimmune conditions, etc).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-173
Number of pages7
JournalExpert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy
Issue number2
Early online dateDec 26 2022
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • AIDS
  • Cryptosporidium
  • malnutrition
  • nitazoxanide
  • Diarrhea/drug therapy
  • Antiprotozoal Agents
  • Cryptosporidiosis/drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
  • Child, Preschool
  • Child

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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