Cryptosporidiosis and Microsporidiosis in Ugandan Children with Persistent Diarrhea with and Without Concurrent
Tumwiine, James K.
Akioshi, Donna K.
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Cryptosporidium spp. and Enterocytozoon bieneusi are enteric pathogens that have emerged as significant causes of persistent diarrhea (PD) in immunologically compromised individuals particularly in association with HIV/ AIDS. We conducted a cross-sectional study on the clinical epidemiology of E. bieneusi and Cryptosporidium in children with PD, with and without HIV/AIDS, attending Uganda’s Mulago National Referral Hospital. Two hundred forty-three children aged < 60 months, admitted between November 2002 and May 2003 with PD (> 14 days), were analyzed for HIV status and CD4 lymphocyte counts, and stools were screened for the presence ofE. bieneusi and Cryptosporidium by microscopy and positive samples genotyped by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) analysis. Eighty (32.9%) of the children were excreting E. bieneusi, and 76 (31.3%) were excreting Cryptosporidium. Ninety-one of the 243 children had HIV, of who 70 (76.9%) had E. bieneusi, versus 10 (6.6%) of the 152 without (odds ratio 47.33; 95% CI 19.88 to 115.97), while 67 (73.6%) had Cryptosporidium, versus 9 (5.9%) without (odds ratio 44.36; 95% CI 18.39 to 110.40). Children with counts < 25% CD4 cells were more likely to have either E. bieneusi (odds ratio 7.42; 95% CI 3.77 to 14.69) or Cryptosporidium (odds ratio 6.45; 95% CI 3.28 to 12.76) than those with higher CD4 percentages. However, only HIV status was independently associated with either Cryptosporidium or E. bieneusi. Among the 243 children with PD, 67 (27.8%) were infected with both enteric pathogens, with HIV being the only independent predictor of coinfection. Finally, some 81% of HIV-infected children with PD excreted one or both organisms, compared with only 10% of children with PD testing negative for HIV. Seventy-four percent of isolates were C. hominis, the anthroponotic species, 17% were C. parvum, the zoonotic species, and 8% were a mixture of the two or others.