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Cryptosporidium and Giardia in Africa: current and future challenges

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      Abstract

      Cryptosporidium and Giardia are important causes of diarrhoeal illness. Adequate knowledge of the molecular diversity and geographical distribution of these parasites and the environmental and climatic variables that influence their prevalence is important for effective control of infection in at-risk populations, yet relatively little is known about the epidemiology of these parasites in Africa. Cryptosporidium is associated with moderate to severe diarrhoea and increased mortality in African countries and both parasites negatively affect child growth and development. Malnutrition and HIV status are also important contributors to the prevalence of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in African countries. Molecular typing of both parasites in humans, domestic animals and wildlife to date indicates a complex picture of both anthroponotic, zoonotic and spill-back transmission cycles that requires further investigation. For Cryptosporidium, the only available drug (nitazoxanide) is ineffective in HIV and malnourished individuals and therefore more effective drugs are a high priority. Several classes of drugs with good efficacy exist for Giardia, but dosing regimens are suboptimal and emerging resistance threatens clinical utility. Climate change and population growth are also predicted to increase both malnutrition and the prevalence of these parasites in water sources. Dedicated and co-ordinated commitments from African governments involving “One Health” initiatives with multidisciplinary teams of veterinarians, medical workers, relevant government authorities, and public health specialists working together are essential to control and prevent the burden of disease caused by these parasites.

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      Burden and aetiology of diarrhoeal disease in infants and young children in developing countries (the Global Enteric Multicenter Study, GEMS): a prospective, case-control study.

      Diarrhoeal diseases cause illness and death among children younger than 5 years in low-income countries. We designed the Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS) to identify the aetiology and population-based burden of paediatric diarrhoeal disease in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia. The GEMS is a 3-year, prospective, age-stratified, matched case-control study of moderate-to-severe diarrhoea in children aged 0-59 months residing in censused populations at four sites in Africa and three in Asia. We recruited children with moderate-to-severe diarrhoea seeking care at health centres along with one to three randomly selected matched community control children without diarrhoea. From patients with moderate-to-severe diarrhoea and controls, we obtained clinical and epidemiological data, anthropometric measurements, and a faecal sample to identify enteropathogens at enrolment; one follow-up home visit was made about 60 days later to ascertain vital status, clinical outcome, and interval growth. We enrolled 9439 children with moderate-to-severe diarrhoea and 13,129 control children without diarrhoea. By analysing adjusted population attributable fractions, most attributable cases of moderate-to-severe diarrhoea were due to four pathogens: rotavirus, Cryptosporidium, enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli producing heat-stable toxin (ST-ETEC; with or without co-expression of heat-labile enterotoxin), and Shigella. Other pathogens were important in selected sites (eg, Aeromonas, Vibrio cholerae O1, Campylobacter jejuni). Odds of dying during follow-up were 8·5-fold higher in patients with moderate-to-severe diarrhoea than in controls (odd ratio 8·5, 95% CI 5·8-12·5, p<0·0001); most deaths (167 [87·9%]) occurred during the first 2 years of life. Pathogens associated with increased risk of case death were ST-ETEC (hazard ratio [HR] 1·9; 0·99-3·5) and typical enteropathogenic E coli (HR 2·6; 1·6-4·1) in infants aged 0-11 months, and Cryptosporidium (HR 2·3; 1·3-4·3) in toddlers aged 12-23 months. Interventions targeting five pathogens (rotavirus, Shigella, ST-ETEC, Cryptosporidium, typical enteropathogenic E coli) can substantially reduce the burden of moderate-to-severe diarrhoea. New methods and accelerated implementation of existing interventions (rotavirus vaccine and zinc) are needed to prevent disease and improve outcomes. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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        Zoonotic potential and molecular epidemiology of Giardia species and giardiasis.

        Molecular diagnostic tools have been used recently in assessing the taxonomy, zoonotic potential, and transmission of Giardia species and giardiasis in humans and animals. The results of these studies have firmly established giardiasis as a zoonotic disease, although host adaptation at the genotype and subtype levels has reduced the likelihood of zoonotic transmission. These studies have also identified variations in the distribution of Giardia duodenalis genotypes among geographic areas and between domestic and wild ruminants and differences in clinical manifestations and outbreak potentials of assemblages A and B. Nevertheless, our efforts in characterizing the molecular epidemiology of giardiasis and the roles of various animals in the transmission of human giardiasis are compromised by the lack of case-control and longitudinal cohort studies and the sampling and testing of humans and animals living in the same community, the frequent occurrence of infections with mixed genotypes and subtypes, and the apparent heterozygosity at some genetic loci for some G. duodenalis genotypes. With the increased usage of multilocus genotyping tools, the development of next-generation subtyping tools, the integration of molecular analysis in epidemiological studies, and an improved understanding of the population genetics of G. duodenalis in humans and animals, we should soon have a better appreciation of the molecular epidemiology of giardiasis, the disease burden of zoonotic transmission, the taxonomy status and virulences of various G. duodenalis genotypes, and the ecology of environmental contamination.
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          Climate change and global water resources: SRES emissions and socio-economic scenarios

           Nigel Arnell (2004)
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0436 6763, GRID grid.1025.6, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, , Murdoch University, ; Perth, Australia
            [2 ]Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Animal Research Institute, Accra, Ghana
            Contributors
            S.Squire@murdoch.edu.au
            Una.Ryan@murdoch.edu.au
            Journal
            Parasit Vectors
            Parasit Vectors
            Parasites & Vectors
            BioMed Central (London )
            1756-3305
            20 April 2017
            20 April 2017
            2017
            : 10
            28427454
            5397716
            2111
            10.1186/s13071-017-2111-y
            © The Author(s). 2017

            Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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            Review
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            © The Author(s) 2017

            Parasitology

            cryptosporidium, climate change, malnutrition, hiv, molecular typing, africa, giardia

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