Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Incidence of cryptosporidiosis species in paediatric patients in Malawi

  • T. D. MORSE (a1), R. A. B. NICHOLS (a2), A. M. GRIMASON (a1) (a2), B. M. CAMPBELL (a2), K. C. TEMBO (a3) and H. V. SMITH (a2)...

We determined the incidence of cryptosporidiosis in children aged <5 years presenting with diarrhoea in an urban and rural hospital-based setting in Malawi. Stools were collected over a 22-month period during both rainy and dry seasons. A range of microscopic methods were used to determine the presence of Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts. Species determination was by polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR–RFLP) of oocyst-extracted DNA using 18S rRNA and COWP gene loci. Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts were seen in 5·9% (50/848) of samples, of which 43 amplified by PCR–RFLP indicated the following species: C. hominis, C. parvum, C. hominis/C. parvum, C. meleagridis and C. andersoni. Seven samples could not be amplified by PCR. Wider species diversity was found in the rural setting, and may be a result of increased malnutrition and zoonotic exposure in this area. Improvements in water, sanitation, household hygiene and animal control are required to reduce the incidence of infection in this population.

Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Dr T. D. Morse, Division of Environmental Health, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK. (Email:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

3.  C Mwachari , Chronic diarrhoea among HIV infected adult patients in Nairobi, Kenya. Journal of Infection 1998; 37: 4853.

5.  B Amadi , Intestinal and systemic infection, HIV, and mortality in Zambian children with persistent diarrhoea and malnutrition. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 2001; 32: 550554.

7.  L Xiao , Cryptosporidium Taxonomy: recent advances and implications for public health. Clinical Microbiology Reviews 2004; 17: 7297.

8.  UM Ryan , Cryptosporidium suis n.sp. (Apicomplexa: Cryptosporidiidae) in pigs (Sus scrofa). Journal of Parasitology 2004; 90: 769773.

10.  BA Leav , Analysis of sequence diversity at the highly polymorphic Cpgp40/15 locus among Cryptosporidium isolates from human immunodeficiency virus-infected children in South Africa. Infection and Immunity 2002; 70: 38813890.

11.  W Gatei , Molecular analysis of the 18S rRNA gene of Cryptosporidium parasites from patients with or without human immunodeficiency virus infections living in Kenya, Malawi, Brazil, the United Kingdom and Vietnam. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 2003; 41: 14581462.

12.  MM Peng , Molecular epidemiology of cryptosporidiosis in children in Malawi. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology 2003; 50 (Suppl.): 557559.

15.  HV Smith , GD Corcoran . New drugs and treatment for cryptosporidiosis. Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases 2004; 17: 557564.

16.  DP Casemore , M Armstrong , RL Sands . Laboratory diagnosis of cryptosporidiosis. Journal of Clinical Pathology 1985; 38: 13371341.

17.  AM Grimason , Application of DAPI and immunofluorescence for enhanced identification of Cryptosporidium oocysts in water samples. Water Research 1994; 28: 733736.

20.  RAB Nichols , JE Moore , HV Smith . A rapid method for extracting oocyst DNA from Cryptosporidium-positive human faeces for outbreak investigations. Journal of Microbiological Methods 2006; 65: 512524.

21.  RAB Nichols , BM Campbell , HV Smith . Molecular fingerprinting of Cryptosporidium oocysts isolated during regulatory monitoring. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 2006; 72: 54285435.

25.  W Homan , Characterisation of Cryptosporidium parvum in human and animal faeces by single tube nested polymerase chain reaction and restriction analysis. Parasitology Research 1999; 85: 707712.

28.  M Varea , Fuschin fluorescence and autofluorescence of Cryptosporidium, Isospora and Cyclospora oocysts. International Journal of Parasitology 1998; 28: 18811883.

30.  W Gatei , Cryptosporidium muris infection in an HIV-infected adult, Kenya. Emerging Infectious Diseases 2002; 8: 204206.

31.  K Guyot , Molecular characterisation of Cryptosporidium isolates obtained from humans in France. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 2001; 39: 34723480.

32.  CJ Palmer , Cryptosporidium muris, a rodent pathogen, recovered from a human in Peru. Emerging Infectious Diseases 2003; 9: 11741176.

33.  C Amar , S Pedraza-Diaz , J McLauchlin . Extraction and genotyping of Cryptosporidium parvum DNA from fecal smears on glass slides stained conventionally for direct microscope examination. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 2001; 39: 401403.

34.  CFL Amar , Blinded evaluation of DNA extraction and genotyping of stained Cryptosporidium on glass slides. Letters in Applied Microbiology 2002; 35: 486488.

35.  L Monteiro , Detection of Helicobacter pylori DNA in human faeces by PCR: DNA stability and removal of inhibitors. Journal of Microbiological Methods 2001; 45: 8994.

36.  S Pedraza-Diaz , C Amar , J McLauchlin . The identification and characterisation of an unusual genotype of Cryptosporidium from human faeces as Cryptosporidium meleagridis. FEM Microbiology Letters 2000; 189: 189194.

37.  S Pedraza-Diaz , Cryptosporidium meleagridis from humans: molecular analysis and description of affected patients. Journal of Infection 2001: 42: 243250.

39.  AD Steele , E Gove , PJ Meewes . Cryptosporidiosis in white patients in South Africa. Journal of Infection 1989; 19: 281285.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 2
Total number of PDF views: 8 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 85 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.