Cryptosporidium is one of the agents associated with diarrhoea in human immune deficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients. There is paucity of data in Northwestern Nigeria on the occurrence of this parasite among HIV patients. The study was to determine the prevalence of Cryptosporidium among HIV infected patients in Kano, Nigeria. In order to help in management of HIV related opportunistic infections. Stool samples were collected from 100 HIV positive and 50 HIV negative (control) patients presenting with diarrhoea at Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, Kano (MMSH) in Northwestern Nigeria. Concentrated stool sample from each patient was screened for Cryptosporidium oocysts with the modified Ziehl Neelson method while direct sample was screened for other enteric parasites. The overall parasite prevalence rate in the diarrhoea patients is 22.7% (34/150) withCryptosporidium spp. 4.0%, Ascaris lumbricoides 7.3%, Hookworm 3.3%, Schistosoma mansoni 0.7%, Trichuris trichura 0.7% and Entamoeba histolytica 6.7%. The parasite prevalence rate in HIV infected patients is 25% while in HIV-negative patients, the rate is 18%. The rate is significantly higher among HIV infected patients with diarrhea than among HIV negative with diarrhea (P < 0.0001). However, Cryptosporidium was found exclusively among HIV-infected patients. When Cryptosporidium prevalence was excluded from analysis, the parasite prevalence rates between the two groups was not significantly different (X2 = 0.8002, df = 3, P = 0.8494). Cryptosporidium oocysts have been demonstrated in faeces of HIV infected patients attending Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital in Kano, Nigeria. It accounts for 6.0% of cases among this group. Hence should be considered in planning interventions aimed at optimizing management diarrhoeal diseases among HIV and other immune-suppressed patients.
Key words: Cryptosporidiosis, human immune deficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), prevalence, Northwestern Nigeria
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