Detection of Cryptosporidium parvum and Cryptosporidium hominis in human patients in Cairo, Egypt.
Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.
Cryptosporidium is a significant cause of diarrheal disease in developing and industrialized nations. Cryptosporidium hominis and Cryptosporidium parvum are the main agents of cryptosporidiosis in humans. In Egypt, very little is known about genetic structure of Cryptosporidium spp. Therefore, this study was designed to examine samples from sporadic cases of cryptosporidiosis in Egyptians in order to identify the species involved in infection as well as the transmission dynamics and distribution of the parasite in the Great Cairo area. A total of 391 human faecal samples were collected, between May 2008 and March 2009, from ten public hospitals in Great Cairo. Initial screening by immunochromatographic detection kit "the Stick Crypto-Giardia; Operon" showed 23 possible positive cases. Twenty of them were confirmed by microscopic examination. PCR was performed by amplification of the oocyst wall protein (COWP) gene where 18 out of 23 samples were positive, one not detected by microscopy. Cryptosporidium genotyping was performed by RFLP analysis of PCR products of the diagnosis PCR. Only 15 samples rendered a digestion pattern. The genotyping distribution was nine cases showing C. hominis genotype, three showing C. parvum genotype and three showing mixed infection by C. hominis and C. parvum. The data showed an elevated prevalence of C. hominis (80.0%), the most anthroponotic species, suggesting a human-human transmission. Furthermore, the presence of up to 40% of samples infected with C. parvum shows that further investigations are required to determine the subgenotypes of C. parvum to clarify the mode of transmission in order to improve the control measures.