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Cryptosporidiosis among animal handlers and their Livestock in Basrah, Iraq

N. K. Mahdi
N. H. Ali


Objective: To investigate the prevalence of cryptosporidiosis among groups at risk (animal handlers) and among domestic animals.

Design: Comparative study with zoonotic aspect.

Method: Stool samples were collected from 60 animal handlers, 175 nonanimal handlers and 198 domestic animals (60 cows, 45 sheep, 45 goats, 25 horses and 23 camels). Direct smear method and then formalin-ether sedimentation method were carried out for stool samples to detect intestinal parasites. Faecal smears were prepared from the sediment and stained by the modified Ziehl-Neelsen method for the recovery of red-pink oocysts of Cryptosporidium.

Results: Out of the 60 animal handlers, 30 (50%) were found to be positive for intestinal parasites compared to 26 (14.8%) of non-animal handlers (P<0.01). Cryptosporidium oocysts were found to be excreted by three (5%) animal handlers and two (1.14%) of the non-animal handlers (P>0.05). Cryptosporidiosis was also diagnosed in 20%, 13.3%, 17.7% and 12% of cattle, sheep, goats and horses respectively. No single positive case was detected among the examined camels.

Conclusion: Veterinarians, butchers and breeders should be aware of the disease among farm animals in order to avoid great losses and to prevent its transmission to humans.

(East African Medical Journal: 2002 79(10): 551-554)

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eISSN: 0012-835X