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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2005 Sep;73(3):520-2.

Short report: asymptomatic Cryptosporidium hominis infection among human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients in Tanzania.

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Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.


Few data exist on the relative importance of individual Cryptosporidium species in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome cryptosporidiosis. We characterized 127 inpatients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in Tanzania for their CD4 cell count and by stool analysis, including Cryptosporidium immunofluorescence and polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism. Cryptosporidium was detected in patients both with and without diarrheal symptoms (defined as > or = 3 liquid stools/day, 11 of 61 versus 11 of 66; P = not significant) and was a marker for low CD4 cell count (median = 124/microL versus 212/microL in Cryptosporidium-negative patients; P < 0.04). Cryptosporidium hominis was the predominant species in this region and was associated with a longer duration of symptoms, a higher rate of asymptomatic infection, and a lower CD4 cell count versus C. parvum-infected patients (P < 0.05). This study suggests there may be important differences in the natural history of Cryptosporidium infection in HIV-infected persons depending on parasite species.

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