Cryptosporidiosis: An Ignored Cause of Persistent Diarrhea among Children
Objective: To evaluate the frequency of Cryptosporidium species among children presenting to a tertiary care hospital with persistent diarrhea.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted from September 2016 to February 2017 at Microbiology Department, Allama Iqbal Medical College, Lahore. Non-probability consecutive sampling technique was used and a total of 71 stool samples were collected from children admitted to Paediatric ward of Jinnah Hospital, Lahore, and full filling the inclusion criteria. Every sample was collected according to standard protocol, brought to the lab within 3 hours, and processed for modified ZN staining. Cryptosporidium oocysts (bright red against a blue background) were identified.
Results: Among 71 enrolled children (male=41, female =30) Cryptosporidium was detected in 9.85% (n=7) stool samples via modified ZN stain. Majority of the children with Cryptosporidium species cyst infection were less than 5 years old age. All the children presented with watery diarrhea abdominal pain and fever. Only one case of Cryptosporidium species cyst in diarrheal stools of children below 6 months of age was presented. The frequency of Cryptosporidium infection was twice in males 12.5% as compared to females 6.6 %.
Conclusion: The present study highlights the importance of Cryptosporidium detection as a cause of diarrhea, especially in children.
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