African Journal of
Microbiology Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Microbiol. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0808
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJMR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 5211

Full Length Research Paper

Prevalence of Cryptosporidium and other intestinal parasites using different diagnostic techniques in Enugu Metropolis, South-Eastern Nigeria

Ukwah, B.N1* and Ezeonu, I.M.2
1Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Nigeria. 2Professor of Medical Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, Department of Microbiology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected], [email protected].

  •  Published: 09 April 2012


Cryptosporidium is a protozoan parasite and the aetiologic agent of a gastrointestinal disease, known as cryptosporidiosis. In this study, a total of 300 faecal samples were collected and analysed for the presence of Cryptosporidium, yeasts and other parasites using direct normal saline, iodine wet preparations, formol-ethylacetate concentration and modified Ziehl Neelsen staining techniques. Using direct normal saline and iodine wet preparation techniques, a total of 25(8.3%) samples out of 300 were positive forCryptosporidium and yeasts, but the use of formol-ethylacetate concentration increased the number of positive samples for Cryptosporidium and yeasts to 30 (10%). Further application of modified Ziehl Neelsen staining technique to sediments differentiated the aetiologic agents into Cryptosporidium 6 (20%) and yeast-positive 24 (80%). The prevalence of other parasites encountered in this study include; Giardia lamblia, 1 (0.3%);Blastocystis hominis, 1 (0.3%); Entamoeba histolytica, 13 (4.3%); Clonorchis sinensis, 2 (0.7%); Hookworm, 6 (2%); Ascaris lumbricoides, 3 (1%) and Balatidium coli, 1 (0.3%). Thus, the application of only routine wet preparation was less predictive and resulted in 21.7% misdiagnosis (1.7% undetected plus 20% misdiagnosed as yeast). This study buttresses the need for the confirmation of every suspected yeast infection as may be detected in wet examination of faecal specimens, to avoid misdiagnosis. The study also indicates the importance of formol-ethyacetate sedimentation technique in the detection and diagnosis of yeasts, Cryptosporidium, B. hominis and other parasites from stool samples.


Key words: Cryptosporidium, intestinal parasites, immunocompromised, yeasts, misdiagnosis.