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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)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0950268806007758
  • Published online: 01 January 2007
Abstract
SUMMARY

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.

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Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Dr T. D. Morse, Division of Environmental Health, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK. (Email: tracythomson@africa-online.net)
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