DETECTION OF CRYPTOSPORIDIUM IN IMMUNOSUPPRESSED PATIENTS

Authors

  • R. Baqai
  • S. Anwar
  • S. U. Kazmi

Abstract

Background: Cryptosporidium is an important cause of diarrhoeal disease in children andimmunosuppressed persons. It is an opportunistic pathogen. A study was done to determine thefrequency of Cryptosporidium in immunosuppressed persons. Methods: Fecal samples werecollected from Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre Karachi during July to December 2003 andthey 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. Bacteriologicalstudy was also done to determine any bacterial pathogens. Results: Out of 50 fecal samplesCryptosporidium was found in 20 (40%) of cases. Among the different groups Cryptosporidiumwas found in 80% of cancer patients, 25% diabetics and 35% dialysis patients. Distribution ofCryptosporidium according to gender indicated more cases in males (87%) among cancer patientsand 40% among dialyzed patients while diabetic patients showed similar distribution. Among thedifferent age groups male patients were found to be between 40-49 years group for all categoriesof patients while more positive cases were detected in females in 30-39 years age group. Directmicroscopy did not indicate any ova or parasite and bacteriological study indicated Salmonellaand Shigella spp. in stool samples. Conclusion: This study provides indication of the possibilityof Cryptosporodisis in immunosuppressed patient and further comprehensive study is required toclearly establish the relationship of opportunistic infections in immunosuppressed patients.Keywords: Immunosuppressed patients, Cryptosporidium, Cryptosporodosis

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