spp is an intracellular protozoan, that was described as a human intestinal parasite in 1976; at the moment it is recognized as one of the most important causes of gastrointestinal infection and diarrhea in children and adults. The objective of the present study is to determine the frequency of this parasitism in the children of a local Colombian hospital.
Materials and methods:
It is a descriptive observational study, carried out in the San Vicente Hospital of Arauca, Colombia, from August to December of 2003. All of the children that consulted in the mentioned period to the emergency service were included; samples of fecal matter for coloration with modified Ziehl-Neelsen technique in search of parasite oocysts, were taken. The differential diagnosis was made by micrometric technique. It was considered positive when more than 5 oocysts by high power field were found. The statistical analysis was carried out in Epi-Info 6.04.
A total of 173 patients were included, 56.1% were males, mean age was 2.65 years (ranges 1 month to12 years). The frequency of Cryptosporidium
spp in this population was 46.8%, it was more prevalent as the age increased and in children in nurseries; no relationship was evidenced with any digestive symptom.
The frequency of the parasitism found in this study is higher when compared with the local prevalence determined previously; it shows the importance of carrying out additional studies in the area.