Diarrhoea is the main clinical manifestation caused by intestinal parasitic infections in patients, with special reference to transplant recipients who require careful consideration to reduce morbidity and mortality. Further, molecular characterization of some important parasites is necessary to delineate the different modes of transmission to consider appropriate management strategies. We undertook this study to investigate the intestinal parasitic infections in transplant recipients with or without diarrhoea, and the genotypes of the isolated parasites were also determined.
Stool samples from 38 transplant recipients comprising 29 post-renal, two liver and seven bone marrow transplant (BMT) recipients presenting with diarrhoea and 50 transplant recipients (42 post-renal transplant, eight BMT) without diarrhoea were examined for the presence of intestinal parasites by light microscopy using wet mount, modified Ziehl–Neelsen staining for intestinal coccidia and modified trichrome staining for microsporidia. Genotypes of Cryptosporidium species were determined by multilocus genotyping using small subunit ribosomal ( SSUrRNA), Cryptosporidium oocyst wall protein ( COWP) and dihydrofolate reductase ( DHFR) as the target genes. Assemblage study for Giardia lamblia was performed using triose phosphate isomerase ( TPI) as the target gene. Samples were also screened for bacterial, fungal and viral pathogens.
The parasites that were detected included Cryptosporidium species (21%, 8/38), Cystoisospora ( Isospora) belli (8%, 3), Cyclospora cayetanensis (5%, 2), G. lamblia (11%, 4), Hymenolepis nana (11%, 4), Strongyloides stercoralis (3%, 1) and Blastocystis hominis (3%, 1). Multilocus genotyping of Cryptosporidium species at SSUrRNA, COWP and DHFR loci could detect four isolates of C. hominis; two of C. parvum, one of mixed genotype and one could not be genotyped. All the C. hominis isolates were detected in adult post-renal transplant (PRT) recipients, whereas the C. parvum isolates included a child with BMT and an adult with PRT. Clostridium difficle, cytomegalovirus and Candida albicans were found in 2, 3 and 2 patients, respectively.
In the present study, C. hominis was observed as an important parasite causing intestinal infections in transplant recipients. Multilocus genotyping of Cryptosporidium species could detect four isolates of C. hominis; two of C. parvum, one of mixed genotype and one could not be genotyped. Genotyping of G. lamblia revealed that assemblage B was most common.