Cryptosporidiosis is a relatively uncommon disease in healthy individuals but could be potentially worrisome in immunocompromised patients. This study aimed to evaluate Cryptosporidium infection in children with cancer undergoing chemotherapy. A case-control study was conducted in 132 children with cancer undergoing chemotherapy and 132 non-cancer controls. The modified Ziehl-Neelsen (MZN) staining and polymerase chain reaction methods were used for the detection of Cryptosporidium parasite. All positive isolates were sequenced for phylogenetic analysis. Statistical analysis was performed using the SPSS version 16 and Fisher exact test. The rate of cryptosporidiosis in children with cancer undergoing chemotherapy was 3.8%, which was higher than that of the control group. Other intestinal parasites detected in patients with cancer included Giardia lamblia (3%), Entamoeba coli (1.5%), and Chilomastix mesnili (0.8%). In the control group, only two (1.5%) cases were positive for G. lamblia. No significant difference was observed between the gender, age, residency, contact with domestic animals, stool appearance, neutropenia, chemotherapy period, and type of malignancy with regard to cryptosporidiosis. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that Cryptosporidium parvum isolates in this study relied on a branch that represents similar sequences from Iran and other countries. Although the rate of Cryptosporidium infection was relatively higher in children with cancer undergoing chemotherapy compared to the control group, any statistically significant difference has not been found between them. These findings should not be contrary to the need for healthcare to prevent opportunistic parasitic infections in malignant and immunocompromised patients.
Parasitology Research – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 20, 2017
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