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Prevalence and identification of Cryptosporidium species in paediatric patients with diarrhoea

Authors:

UM Sirisena ,

Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, LK
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WMDR Iddawela,

Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, LK
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F Noorden,

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, LK
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S Wickramasinghe

Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, LK
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Abstract

Objectives To determine the prevalence of Cryptosporidium infection in children with diarrhoea, identify associated factors and identify the parasite using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).

Methods A total of 138 diarrhoeic faecal samples were collected between August 2011 and February 2013, from children under 12 years of age, admitted to paediatric units of Teaching Hospitals, Kandy and Peradeniya, Sirimawo Bandaranayake Childrens’ Hospital, Peradeniya and District General Hospital, Matale. One hundred faecal samples collected from healthy children were used as controls. All control and test samples were screened for the presence of Cryptosporidium oocysts with Modified Ziehl-Neelsen (MZN) method and PCR.

Results Prevalence of Cryptosporidium infection among children with diarrhoea was 5.7%. All the cases positive for Cryptosporidium were below 3 years of age. The majority (7 out of 8) of the positive cases had watery diarrhoea while none of the healthy children excreted Cryptosporidium oocysts in the faeces. Of the 8 positive cases, 6 had a history of animal contact. A large proportion of positive cases used pipe borne municipal water. The majority (66.6%) of positive cases did not consume boiled cooled water. We were able to identify C. parvum from one of the eight cases that had diarrhoea.

Conclusions The current study shows that Cryptosporidium is one of the aetiological agents responsible for childhood watery diarrhoea in Sri Lanka, thus stressing the importance of routine stool examination for Cryptosporidium oocysts. This study recommends boiling water as an important measure to prevent the transmission of Cryptosporidium oocysts. Further molecular studies are needed to determine the other species of Cryptosporidium responsible for cryptosporidiosis in children in Sri Lanka.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v59i3.7467

Ceylon Medical Journal 2014; 59: 75-78

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v59i3.7467
How to Cite: Sirisena, U., Iddawela, W., Noorden, F. and Wickramasinghe, S., 2014. Prevalence and identification of Cryptosporidium species in paediatric patients with diarrhoea. Ceylon Medical Journal, 59(3), pp.75–78. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v59i3.7467
Published on 29 Sep 2014.
Peer Reviewed

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