Cryptosporidiosis and Associated Risk Factors among Children Attending Paediatric Hospitals in Enugu Metropolis, Enugu State, Nigeria

Ezinne G. Ani

Department of Parasitology and Entomology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria.

Pauline U. Umeanaeto

Department of Parasitology and Entomology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria.

Kindness C. Irikannu *

Department of Parasitology and Entomology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria.

Anthea U. Ikpo

Department of Health and Global Environment, University of Salford, Manchester, England.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Cryptosporidiosis is a zoonotic disease caused by infection with protozoan parasite of the genus Cryptosporidium. It is associated with moderate to severe diarrhoea which may eventually lead to death. The parasite impedes growth and development of affected children. A hospital based cross-sectional study was conducted to assess cryptosporidiosis and the associated risk factors among children aged 0-15years attending selected paediatric hospitals in Enugu Metropolis between November 2021 and August 2022. A total of five hundred and fifty stool samples were examined for oocysts of Cryptosporidium species using Formol Ethyl-Acetate sedimentation and modified Ziehl Neelsen’s staining techniques. The overall prevalence of the parasite was 14.4% (79/550). Enugu State University of Science and Technology Teaching Hospital recorded the highest prevalence 32(25.6%) of Cryptosporidium species while St. Patrick Hospital recorded the least 1(1.1%). Public hospitals recorded more infections than private hospitals. The age group ≤ 5years 43(15.8%) recorded the highest prevalence. Males 52(17.1%) were more infected than females 27(10.98%), which was not significant (P>0.05). Children whose parents/caregivers had only primary education 11(26.8%), has the highest prevalence while those whose parents/caregivers had tertiary education 17(8.9%), has the least. Children whose parents/caregivers were farming has the highest prevalence 9(25.0%), while children of civil servants, 40(12.4%) has the least which was not significant (P>0.05). Children living in multifamily residences 48(15.2%) had higher prevalence than those living in private homes, 2(6.3%). Other protozoan parasites identified in the study were Entamoeba histolytica 88(16.1%) and Giardia lamblia 69(12.5%). There were co-infections of Cryptosporidium and Entamoeba histolytica 27(4.9%), Cryptosporidium and Giardia lamblia 21(4.3%) which was not significant (P>0.05). Intervention through health education on good hygiene habits, and provision of clean water and proper disposal of faeces will help reduce cryptosporidiosis among children.

Keywords: Cryptosporidiosis, children, risk factors, Enugu Metropolis, hospital

How to Cite

Ani , E. G., Umeanaeto , P. U., Irikannu , K. C., & Ikpo , A. U. (2023). Cryptosporidiosis and Associated Risk Factors among Children Attending Paediatric Hospitals in Enugu Metropolis, Enugu State, Nigeria. International Journal of Pathogen Research, 12(1), 13–20.


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