R. Baqai, S. Anwar, S. U. Kazmi


Background: Cryptosporidium is an important cause of diarrhoeal disease in children and
immunosuppressed persons. It is an opportunistic pathogen. A study was done to determine the
frequency of Cryptosporidium in immunosuppressed persons. Methods: Fecal samples were
collected from Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre Karachi during July to December 2003 and
they consisted of three categories of patients which included cancer patients (10) diabetics (20)
and patients on dialysis (20). Direct microscopy in saline and iodine was done to detect parasites.
Detection of Cryptosporidium from fecal samples was done by Kinyoun method. Bacteriological
study was also done to determine any bacterial pathogens. Results: Out of 50 fecal samples
Cryptosporidium was found in 20 (40%) of cases. Among the different groups Cryptosporidium
was found in 80% of cancer patients, 25% diabetics and 35% dialysis patients. Distribution of
Cryptosporidium according to gender indicated more cases in males (87%) among cancer patients
and 40% among dialyzed patients while diabetic patients showed similar distribution. Among the
different age groups male patients were found to be between 40-49 years group for all categories
of patients while more positive cases were detected in females in 30-39 years age group. Direct
microscopy did not indicate any ova or parasite and bacteriological study indicated Salmonella
and Shigella spp. in stool samples. Conclusion: This study provides indication of the possibility
of Cryptosporodisis in immunosuppressed patient and further comprehensive study is required to
clearly establish the relationship of opportunistic infections in immunosuppressed patients.
Keywords: Immunosuppressed patients, Cryptosporidium, Cryptosporodosis

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