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Is an intracellular protozoan parasite. It has a complex lifecycle with sexual and asexual cycles taking place in a single host. Oocysts are thick-walled and are the extracellular and environmental stage.

Oocysts. Acquired through contact with contaminated animal fecal matter, particularly diarrhea.

Health Hazards
Host Range
Humans and animals.
Modes of Transmission
Transmitted through the fecal-oral route, direct contact with infected humans or animals, contaminated food, water, and aerosols.
Signs and Symptoms 
Acute gastroenteritis. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramps, fever, vomiting, myalgia, nausea, anorexia, malaise, and fatigue.
Infectious Dose
As low as 1-5 oocysts.
Incubation Period 
7 to 10 days.
Medical Precautions/Treatment
Prophylaxis None available.
Vaccines None available.
Monitor for symptoms. Detection usually by direct microscopic observation of oocysts in stool specimens. Nucleic acid and antigen detection methods have also been developed
MSU Requirements Report any exposures
Laboratory Hazards
Laboratory Acquired Infections (LAIs)
High risk of infection. At least 16 cases laboratory acquired infections have been reported.
Stool, intestinal biopsy specimens from humans or animals and environmental water. Cultures, frozen stocks, other samples described in IBC protocol.
Supplemental References
Canadian MSDS:
NIH Guidelines
Risk Groups & Containment Requirements
Risk Group 2

Agents that are associated with human disease which is rarely serious and for which preventive or therapeutic interventions are often available.

For all procedures involving suspected or known infectious specimen or cultures.
For all procedures utilizing infected animals.
Spill Procedures
Notify others working in the lab. Remove PPE and don new PPE. Cover area of the spill with absorbent material and add fresh 1:10 bleach:water. Allow 20 munutes (or as directed) of contact time. After 20 minutes, cleanup and dispose of materials.
  • Immediately notify all personnel in the lab and clear all personnel from the area. Remove any contaminated PPE/clothing and leave the lab. 
  • Secure the area by locking doors, posting signage and guarding the area to keep people out of the space. 
For assistance, contact MSU's Biosafety Officer (406-994-6733) or Safety and Risk Management (406-994-2711).
Exposure Procedures
Mucous membrane
Flush eyes, mouth, or nose for 5 minutes at eyewash station.
Other Exposures
Wash area with soap and water for 5 minutes.
Immediately report incident to supervisor, complete a First Report of Injury form, and submit to Safety and Risk Management.
Medical Follow-up
During business hours: Bridger Occupational Health 3406 Laramie Drive. Weekdays 8am -6pm.  Weekends 9am-5pm
After business hours: Bozeman Deaconess Hospital Emergency Room 915 Highland Blvd Bozeman, MT
1:2 bleach:water, accelerated hydrogen peroxide
Inactivated by moist heat (121°C for 30 minutes)
Survival Outside Host
Can survive for at least 6 months in the environment
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Minimum PPE Requirements
Lab coat, disposable gloves, safety glasses, closed toed shoes, long pants
Additional Precautions
Additioanl PPE may be required depending on lab specific SOPs and IBC Protocol.