Cryptosporidium infection and diarrhea in rural and urban areas of Jiangsu, People's Republic of China.


Screening of infants and children under age 15 years for Cryptosporidium oocysts in their stools was carried out in the suburb of Xuzhou City and six rural areas of Jiangsu Province. The infection rate varied from 0.7 to 5.06%. Of the total of 5,089 children examined, 89 (1.75%) were oocyst positive. The incidence was evidently higher in the group of children under age 4 years than it was in children from 4 to 15 years (P less than 0.01). Routine blood examination and immunoassay performed on blood samples from some of the infected children indicated that more than half of them had anemia and lower cellular immunity. Diarrhea was the main symptom of cryptosporidiosis. It was intermittent or persistent and was present in 57 of the 89 children positive for Cryptosporidium oocysts, while the other 32 children were asymptomatic carriers. Examination of stool specimens of adult members and domestic animals of about half of the infected families showed that two mothers, one pig, and one dog were positive for Cryptosporidium oocysts.

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