Heavy cryptosporidial infections in children in northeast Brazil: comparison of Cryptosporidium hominis and Cryptosporidium parvum

Oluma Y. Bushen, Anita Kohli, Relana C. Pinkerton, Kate Dupnik, Robert D. Newman, Cynthia L. Sears, Ronald Fayer, Aldo A.M. Lima, Richard L. Guerrant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Cryptosporidium is an important cause of infectious diarrhoea worldwide, but little is known about the course of illness when infected with different species. Over a period of 5 years, Cryptosporidium was identified in the stools of 58 of 157 children prospectively followed from birth in an urban slum (favela) in northeast Brazil. Forty isolates were available for quantification and 42 for speciation (24 Cryptosporidium hominis and 18 C. parvum). Children with C. hominis shed significantly more oocysts/ml of stool (3.5 × 106 vs. 1.7 × 106 per ml; P = 0.001), and oocyst counts were higher among symptomatic children (P = 0.002). Heavier C. parvum shedding was significantly associated with symptoms (P = 0.004), and symptomatic C. parvum-infected children were significantly more likely than asymptomatic children to be lactoferrin-positive (P = 0.004). Height-for-age (HAZ) Z-scores showed significant declines within 3 months of infection for children infected with either C. hominis (P = 0.028) or C. parvum (P = 0.001). However, in the 3-6 month period following infection, only C. hominis-infected children continued to demonstrate declining HAZ score and asymptomatic children showed even greater decline (P = 0.01). Cryptosporidium hominis is more common than C. parvum in favela children and is associated with heavier infections and greater growth shortfalls, even in the absence of symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378-384
Number of pages7
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume101
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2007

Keywords

  • Brazil
  • Cryptosporidium
  • Diarrhoea
  • Genotype
  • Lactoferrin
  • Protozoan infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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