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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 18-28

Cryptosporidiosis in children in the Indian subcontinent

Division of Gastrointestinal Sciences, Wellcome Trust Research Laboratory, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Sitara SR Ajjampur
Division of Gastrointestinal Sciences, Wellcome Trust Research Laboratory, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/tp.TP_2_17

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Cryptosporidiosis is a leading cause of diarrheal disease among children under two in developing countries. Previous estimates have shown a high burden of cryptosporidial diarrhea in children from Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Asymptomatic cryptosporidial infections which go undetected and untreated have been shown to result in significant malnutrition. In this review, we carried out a literature search of studies published on cryptosporidiosis in children in the Indian subcontinent from 1983 to 2016. Of the 154 publications identified, 54 were included for final analysis with both hospital-based and community-based studies. There were wide variations in reported prevalence rates from hospital studies and highlight the need to be carry out these studies with uniform sampling and molecular tools for detection, especially in countries with a dearth of information. Community-based studies, however, showed similarities in spite of differences in when (the late 1990s up until recently) and where (South India or Bangladesh) they were conducted. When more sensitive detection methods were used, cryptosporidial diarrhea accounted for 7%–9% of all diarrhea episodes and 20%–30% of children in these cohorts experienced at least one cryptosporidial diarrheal episode. High rates of asymptomatic infections with increased detection by serology and multiple infections (symptomatic and asymptomatic) were also documented in all cohorts. This overview brings to light the high burden of disease associated with cryptosporidiosis in children in the subcontinent and the gaps in knowledge to be addressed.

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