Stool samples from 836 cases with diarrhea and acute gastroenteritis from the Pediatric ward, Penang General Hospital, were examined for Cryptosporidium oocysts. A dimethyl sulfoxide modified acid fast technique was used for the identification of the parasites. 36 samples or 4.3% were found to be positive for Cryptosporidium. The prevalence of infection was higher (2.39%) in children with diarrhea and vomiting than in children with acute gastroenteritis alone (0.8%). Stool examination and cultures from the Cryptosporidium positive samples revealed no other parasites, rotavirus or enteropathogenic bacteria. This suggests that Cryptosporidium may be an important agent in the causation of diarrhea in young children. A routine laboratory examination for the detection of Cryptosporidium in the search for causal agents of childhood diarrhea in our environment may, therefore, be significant.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.