Cryptosporidium is an enteric coccidial protozoan recognized in humans in 1976. Since its manifestation as an acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-related infection, new diagnostic techniques have improved recognition of Cryptosporidium oocysts, making apparent its true prevalence in human populations. Cryptosporidium represents 5 to 15% of all enteric pathogens in children in warm climate countries. It is responsible for both endemic and epidemic disease. Day-care center spread is well known, and evidence is strong for person-to-person transmission. The spectrum of illness caused by Cryptosporidium is broad, and while self-limited in immunocompetent individuals, gastrointestinal symptoms can be severe. Asymptomatic infection has been described in population surveys and outbreak investigations. Severe dehydration with malabsorption and failure-to-thrive in children from developing countries has been attributed to this organism. Intractable, incurable diarrhea can be fetal in immunosuppressed adults. Cryptosporidiosis in human immunodeficiency virus-infected individuals is declining in frequency in New York City, possibly reflecting changing sexual behaviors and comparatively low infectivity. No effective treatment for Cryptosporidium has been documented, but clinical trials are in progress.