Cryptosporidium infection among children attending some hospitals in Funtua Local Government Area, Katsina State, Nigeria
Four hundred stool samples (76 watery and 324 soft-formed) obtained from children attending three hospitals in Funtua Local Government Area of Katsina State were examined for Cryptosporidium oocysts. A structured questionnaire was administered to determine the factors that enhance the prevalence of infection. Stool samples were examined for Cryptosporidium oocysts using formol-ether concentration technique and the modified Ziehl Neelson staining technique. The overall prevalence of infection obtained was 4%. The results showed that 10.5% watery stools and 2.5% soft-formed stools contained Cryptosporidium oocysts (p<0.05). Children between the ages of 3-5 years had the highest prevalence of infection compared to 0-2 years and 6-8 years age groups (p>0.05). More male children were infected (4.9%) than females (3.2%), but the difference was not statistically significant (p>0.05). Infection was more prevalent in children who defaecated in open fields than those who used pit latrines and water closets (p>0.05). This study showed that source of drinking water, eating of food served in the same plate, washing of hands prior to eating, washing of fruits and vegetables before eating, washing of hands after use of toilet, contact with animals as well as other children did not influence Cryptosporidium infection.
Keywords: Cryptosporidium; immunocompetent; immunocompromised; microvilli.