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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2008 Aug;79(2):210-4.

Epidemiology of cryptosporidiosis in North American travelers to Mexico.

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The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School and School of Public Health, Houston, Texas, USA.


We studied 1,179 North American travelers who visited Mexico from 2005 to 2007. Travelers' diarrhea (TD) was reported by 521 (44%) participants. Among subjects with TD, 218 cases were examined for cryptosporidiosis by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and enzyme-linked immunoassays (ELISA). There were 14 (6%) cases of cryptosporidiosis and 141 cases (64%) of bacterial diarrhea. Compared with bacterial diarrhea, a longer stay in Mexico was a risk factor for cryptosporidiosis. Additionally, Cryptosporidium cases passed greater number of watery stools (P < 0.05), suffered more episodes of diarrhea (P < or = 0.05), and were more likely to experience tenesmus (P < or = 0.05) compared with bacterial causes of TD. ELISA detected seven (3%) cases of Cryptosporidium, whereas PCR identified an additional seven cases (6%). Speciation by 18SrRNA sequencing showed that 13 cases were caused by C. parvum and only 1 case was caused by C. hominis. ELISA showed a sensitivity of 50% and specificity of 100% compared with PCR.

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