Cryptosporidiosis in Northeastern Brazilian Children: Association with Increased Diarrhea Morbidity

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To evaluate the impact of Cryptosporidium infection on diarrheal disease burden and nutrition status, a nested case-control study was done among children who were followed from birth in Fortaleza, Brazil. The diarrhea history and growth records of 43 children with a symptomatic diarrhea episode of cryptosporidiosis (case-children) were compared with those of 43 age-matched controls with no history of cryptosporidiosis. After Cryptosporidium infection, case-children ≤1 year old experienced an excessive and protracted (nearly 2 years) diarrheal disease burden. Case-children ≤1 year old with no history of diarrhea prior to their Cryptosporidium infection also experienced a subsequent increased diarrheal disease burden with an associated decline in growth. Control subjects experienced no change in their diarrhea burden over time. This study suggests that an episode of symptomatic Cryptosporidium infection in children ≤1 year of age is a marker for increased diarrhea morbidity.

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