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      First molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium in Yemen.

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      Parasitology

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          Abstract

          Cryptosporidium is a protozoan parasite of humans and animals and has a worldwide distribution. The parasite has a unique epidemiology in Middle Eastern countries where the IId subtype family of Cryptosporidium parvum dominates. However, there has been no information on Cryptosporidium species in Yemen. Thus, this study was conducted in Yemen to examine the distribution of Cryptosporidium species and subtype families. Fecal samples were collected from 335 patients who attended hospitals in Sana'a city. Cryptosporidium species were determined by PCR and sequence analysis of the 18 s rRNA gene. Cryptosporidium parvum and C. hominis subtypes were identified based on sequence analysis of the 60 kDa glycoprotein (gp60) gene. Out of 335 samples, 33 (9.9%) were positive for Cryptosporidium. Of them, 97% were identified as C. parvum whilst 1 case (3%) was caused by C. hominis. All 7 C. parvum isolates subtyped belonged to the IIaA15G2R1 subtype. The common occurrence of the zoonotic IIa subtype family of C. parvum highlights the potential occurrence of zoonotic transmission of cryptosporidiosis in Yemen. However, this postulation needs confirmation with future molecular epidemiological studies of cryptosporidiosis in both humans and animals in Yemen.

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          Most cited references 39

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          The infectivity of Cryptosporidium parvum in healthy volunteers.

          Small numbers of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts can contaminate even treated drinking water, and ingestion of oocysts can cause diarrheal disease in normal as well as immunocompromised hosts. Since the number of organisms necessary to cause infection in humans is unknown, we performed a study to determine the infective dose of the parasite in healthy adults. After providing informed consent, 29 healthy volunteers without evidence of previous C. parvum infection, as determined by the absence of anti-cryptosporidium-specific antibodies, were given a single dose of 30 to 1 million C. parvum oocysts obtained from a calf. They were then monitored for oocyst excretion and clinical illness for eight weeks. Household contacts were monitored for secondary spread. Of the 16 subjects who received an intended dose of 300 or more oocysts, 14 (88 percent) became infected. After a dose of 30 oocysts, one of five subjects (20 percent) became infected, whereas at a dose of 1000 or more oocysts, seven of seven became infected. The median infective dose, calculated by linear regression, was 132 oocysts. Of the 18 subjects who excreted oocysts after the challenge dose, 11 had enteric symptoms and 7 (39 percent) had clinical cryptosporidiosis, consisting of diarrhea plus at least one other enteric symptom. All recovered, and there were no secondary cases of diarrhea among household contacts. In healthy adults with no serologic evidence of past infection with C. parvum, a low dose of C. parvum oocysts is sufficient to cause infection.
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            Unique endemicity of cryptosporidiosis in children in Kuwait.

            To understand the transmission of Cryptosporidium infection in children, fecal specimens from 62 Kuwaiti children with gastrointestinal symptoms found to be positive by microscopy were genotyped and subtyped with a small subunit rRNA-based PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis and a 60-kDa glycoprotein-based DNA sequencing tool. The median age of infected children was 4.5 years, and 77% of infections occurred during the cool season of November to April. Fifty-eight of the children (94%) had Cryptosporidium parvum, three (5%) had Cryptosporidium hominis, and one (1%) had both C. parvum and C. hominis. Altogether, 13 subtypes of C. parvum (belonging to four subtype allele families) and C. hominis (belonging to three subtype allele families) were observed, with 92% of specimens belonging to the common allele family IIa and the unusual allele family IId. Thus, the transmission of cryptosporidiosis in Kuwaiti children differed significantly from other tropical countries.
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              Epidemiology of Cryptosporidium: transmission, detection and identification.

              There are 10 valid species of Cryptosporidium and perhaps other cryptic species hidden under the umbrella of Cryptosporidium parvum. The oocyst stage is of primary importance for the dispersal, survival, and infectivity of the parasite and is of major importance for detection and identification. Because most oocysts measure 4-6 microm, appear nearly spherical, and have obscure internal structures, there are few or no morphometric features to differentiate species and in vitro cultivation does not provide differential data as for bacteria. Consequently, we rely on a combination of data from three tools: morphometrics, molecular techniques, and host specificity. Of 152 species of mammals reported to be infected with C. parvum or an indistinguishable organism, very few oocysts have ever been examined using more than one of these tools. This paper reviews the valid species of Cryptosporidium, their hosts and morphometrics; the reported hosts for the human pathogen, C. parvum; the mechanisms of transmission; the drinking water, recreational water, and food-borne outbreaks resulting from infection with C. parvum; and the microscopic, immunological, and molecular methods used to detect and identify species and genotypes.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Parasitology
                Parasitology
                1469-8161
                0031-1820
                May 2013
                : 140
                : 6
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
                Article
                S0031182012001953
                10.1017/S0031182012001953
                23369243

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