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CRYPTOSPORIDIUM INFECTION IN YOUNG CHILDREN WITH DIARRHEA IN

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Abstract. Fecal excretion of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts was determined in 625 children less than five years old who presented at the pediatric clinic of a teaching hospital in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Single stool specimens were collected from 475 children with acute diarrhea and from 150 children without diarrhea. The Cryptosporidium infec-tion rate was significantly higher in children with diarrhea than in children without diarrhea (10.3 % versus 3.3%). The C. parvum infection rate was highest in children 19–24 months of age (21.8%). There was no significant difference in the Cryptosporidium infection rate among male and female children of any age group studied. Socio-demographic information, drinking water supply, and contact with domestic animals had no significant role in the acquisition of C. parvum infection in our study population. The data suggest that C. parvum is relatively endemic in young children in the Rawalpindi area and that C. parvum may be an important pathogen associated with diarrhea. Enteric cryptosporidiosis is prevalent worldwide and causes a variety of problems ranging from acute severe di-arrhea to self-limiting diarrhea, mainly in infants and young children, to nosocomial infection leading to fatal cases in immunocompromised persons.1–3 In well-nourished, immu-nocompetent children, the disease is often short and self-limited.2 However, this enteric agent is associated with per-sistent diarrhea in malnourished pediatric4,5 and with pro-longed severe or fatal watery diarrhea in patients with ac-quired immunodeficiency syndrome.6 Children may be most susceptible,4,7 and those less than two years old may have the greatest prevalence.8 Epidemiologic studies have demonstrated that Cryptospo-ridium is more prevalent in developing countries (5 % to. 10%) than in developed countries (, 1 % to 3%).2,3,9–11 In most studies, the isolation rates from healthy persons have been low; however, several recent reports have identified high percentages of asymptomatic infections in childre

Year: 2015
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