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Comparative evaluation of Cryptosporidium infection in malnourished and well-nourished children: Parasitic infections are affected by the interaction of nutritional status and socio-demographic characteristics

Madadi, Solmaz, Mahami-Oskouei, Mahmoud, Rafeey, Mandana, Spotin, Adel, Aminisani, Nayyereh, Mahami-Oskouei, Leyla, Ghoyounchi, Roghayeh, Berahmat, Reza
Comparative immunology, microbiology, and infectious diseases 2020 v.68 pp. 101406
Cryptosporidium parvum, DNA, Protozoa, case-control studies, children, developing countries, diarrhea, long term effects, loop-mediated isothermal amplification, malnutrition, monitoring, nutritional status, oocysts, parasites, parasitoses, patients, phylogeny, polymerase chain reaction, sociodemographic characteristics, staining, Iran
Cryptosporidium, as a small protozoan parasite, is a leading cause of persistent diarrhea in children in developing countries and has both a short and long-term impact on the growth of children. In the present study, Cryptosporidium infection was compared in malnourished and well-nourished children by modified acid-fast staining, nested-polymerase chain reaction (nested-PCR) and loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) methods. As a case-control study, Cryptosporidium infection in 94 malnourished children was evaluated and compared with those of 188 age and gender-matched well-nourished children. Oocysts of Cryptosporidium were detected by modified acid-fast staining method. The extracted DNA was amplified by nested-PCR and LAMP techniques. In addition, positive amplicons were directly sequenced for phylogenetic analysis. Cryptosporidium oocysts were found in the stools of two (2.12 %) children who were hospitalized and had diarrhea by nested-PCR while three isolates (3.2 %) were found by LAMP. Cryptosporidium-positive children were more malnourished compared to those who were negative for Cryptosporidium infection but this important finding was not statistically significant. C. parvum was the main species of Cryptosporidium detected in malnourished children in northwest Iran. LAMP can be considered as a sensitive field monitoring assay in patients with low parasite burden. Nutritional status and socio-demographic factors may have interactive effects on the incidence and severity of parasitic diseases.