High frequency of Cryptosporidium hominis infecting infants points to a potential anthroponotic transmission in Maputo, Mozambique

Idalecia Cossa-Moiane, Herminio Cossa, Adilson Fernando Loforte Bauhofer, Jorfelia Chilaule, Esperanca Lourenco Guimaraes, Diocreciano Matias Bero, Marta Cassocera, Miguel Bambo, Elda Anapakala, Assucenio Chissaque, Julia Sambo, Jeronimo Souzinho Langa, Lena Vania Manhique-Coutinho, Maria Fantinatti, Luis Antonio Lopes-Oliveira, Alda Maria Da-Cruz, Nilsa de Deus

    Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review

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    Cryptosporidium is one of the most important causes of diarrhea in children less than 2 years of age. In this study, we report the frequency, risk factors and species of Cryptosporidium detected by molecular diagnostic methods in children admitted to two public hospitals in Maputo City, Mozambique. We studied 319 patients under the age of five years who were admitted due to diarrhea between April 2015 and February 2016. Single stool samples were examined for the presence of Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts, microscopically by using a Modified Ziehl-Neelsen (mZN) staining method and by using Polymerase Chain Reaction and Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) technique using 18S ribosomal RNA gene as a target. Overall, 57.7% (184/319) were males, the median age (Interquartile range, IQR) was 11.0 (7-15) months. Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts were detected in 11.0% (35/319) by microscopy and in 35.4% (68/192) using PCR-RFLP. The most affected age group were children older than two years, [adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 5.861; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.532-22.417; p-value <0.05]. Children with illiterate caregivers had higher risk of infection (aOR: 1.688; 95% CI: 1.001-2.845; p-value <0.05). An anthroponotic species C. hominis was found in 93.0% (27/29) of samples. Our findings demonstrated that cryptosporidiosis in children with diarrhea might be caused by anthroponomic transmission.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number293
    Issue number3
    Number of pages12
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


    • acute diarrhea
    • Cryptosporidium
    • children
    • risk factor
    • Mozambique


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