Cryptosporidiosis In Harare, Zimbabwe
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Objective: To determine the prevalence of Cryptosporidiumparvum in diarrhoeal patients. Design: This was a laboratory-based cross sectional study on cryptosporidiosis in diarrhoeal patients. Setting: Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, College of Health Sciences in Harare, Zimbabwe. Subjects: People of all ages with diarrhoea presenting at primary level health centres in Harare. Main Outcome Measures: Patient’s age, laboratory results. Results: Cryptosporidium parvum was the commonest enteric pathogen and was detected in 5.8% of the 500 diarrhoeal patients of all ages followed by Shigella species (3.8%) and Salmonella species (2.0%). The highest detection rate of C.parvum oocysts was observed in children less than five years old (11.2%) followed by children between six and 10 years old (6.3%) and then the 31 to 40 year age group (5.9%). Conclusions: Cryptosporidiosis affects people of all ages in Harare but is more common in children, particularly those under five years. The Cparvum oocysts should be looked for routinely in diarrhoeal stool specimens particularly those from children less than five years since C.parvum may be one of the causative agents of diarrhoea in this age group.