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Cryptosporidium is an intracellular organism that infects the enterocytes of the small intestine.
An outer shell of the parasite allows it to survive outside of the body and makes it very resistant to severe environmental conditions (heat, cold or chemical disinfectants) for prolonged periods of time.
In the U.K., Crytosporidial spp. are nearly as common as salmonella and three times as common as shigella in causing acute infectious diarrhoea