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- Coccidian protozoal parasite; mature oocysts (30 x 15 μm) sporulate outside host.
- Sporulated oocysts are infective, sporozoites penetrate enterocytes of small intestine and develop into trophozoites.
- Transmission occurs by ingestion of contaminated water and food.
- Endemic in Central and S. America, Africa, and S.E. Asia; in U.S. associated with immunosuppression.
- Self-limited infection in immunocompetent host.