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Parasit Vectors. 2019 Mar 12;12(1):91. doi: 10.1186/s13071-019-3348-4.

A retrospective molecular study of Cryptosporidium species and genotypes in HIV-infected patients from Thailand.

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Department of Infectious Disease, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.
Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.
Department of Infectious Disease, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.



Opportunistic infections represent a serious health problem for HIV-infected people. Among enteric infections, cryptosporidiosis, a severe and life-threatening diarrheal disease, is of particular importance in low economic settings where access to anti-retroviral therapy is limited. Understanding transmission routes is crucial in establishing preventive measures, and requires the use of informative genotyping methods. In this study, we performed a retrospective analysis of Cryptosporidium species in 166 stool samples collected from 155 HIV-infected patients during 1999-2004 at the Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand.


Microscopic examination of stools identified 104 of the 155 patients as positive for Cryptosporidium. Other common pathogens identified were microsporidia, Isospora, Giardia, Strongyloides and Opisthorchis. All samples were tested by amplification of a fragment of the 18S rDNA locus, and sequencing showed the presence of Cryptosporidium hominis (n = 42), C. meleagridis (n = 20), C. canis (n = 12), C. felis (n = 7), C. suis (n = 6) and C. parvum (n = 5). Genotyping at the glycoprotein 60 (gp60) locus revealed substantial variability in isolates of C. hominis and C. meleagridis. Among C. hominis isolates, subtype IeA11G3T3 was the most prevalent, but allelic family Id was the more diverse with four subtypes described, two of which were identified for the first time. Among C. meleagridis isolates, seven subtypes, two of which were new, were found in the allelic family IIIb, along with new subtypes in allelic families IIIe and IIIg. In the four C. parvum isolates, subtype IIoA16G1, a rare subtype previously reported in a Swedish patient who had traveled to Thailand, was identified.


This study confirms the high susceptibility of HIV-infected individuals to infection with different Cryptosporidium species and subtypes, and further stresses the importance of surveillance for opportunistic intestinal protozoans.


Cryptosporidium; HIV; Molecular typing; Species; Subtypes; Thailand

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